Court orders Maple Ridge couple to repay ICBC

Protecting our customers from the cost of fraud

VANCOUVER, Feb. 1 /CNW/ -The B.C. Supreme Court has ordered a Maple Ridge couple to reimburse ICBC more than $100,000 after being convicted of falsely claiming their expensive, leased truck was stolen.

Ronald and Jeannette LeBlanc said they parked their distinctive Chevrolet Super Sport Roadster (SSR) in their driveway before heading to bed on October 1, 2004, and when they got up the next morning, they said the truck was gone. They filed a stolen vehicle claim and as a result, ICBC paid out more than $60,000 to the leasing company.

Three years later, the vehicle was located on private property in Miramichi, New Brunswick, where it had been stored on behalf of a gentleman who was hired by the Leblancs in the summer of 2004 to do some home renovations on their house in B.C.

That was enough for ICBC's Special Investigation Unit who started to look into this case because of its commitment to protecting our customers from fraud. The investigating officer uncovered that the truck had actually been spotted in Ontario two days before it was reported stolen. An Ontario Provincial Police constable later testified that he became suspicious when he witnessed a young man driving the bright yellow SSR and ran a licence plate check. The check was date- and time-stamped, refuting the LeBlanc's claim that it was stolen two days later.

In finding the couple committed fraud and perjury, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Gail Dickson said, "Quite apart from the compelling and objective nature of the corroborative evidence, the testimony of the LeBlancs is singularly unpersuasive."

As a result, the LeBlancs will have to pay more than $100,000 to reimburse ICBC for money paid to the leasing company, other costs and punitive damages.

In a fascinating end to this story, ICBC sold the vehicle to the Miramichi police for a reduced value to be used for their own public community outreach and to encourage teens to avoid driving while impaired. An image of the vehicle can be downloaded from the icbc.com newsroom here: http://www.icbc.com/news/2011feb01-01.

The vast majority of our customers are honest and we're committed to protecting them from fraudulent acts. We estimate that fraud costs each of our 3.1 million customers in the range of $100 to $150 per year.

You can help combat fraud and help keep rates stable. Anyone with information regarding a suspicious, exaggerated or fraudulent claim is encouraged to call ICBC's fraud tips line at 604-661-6844 or 1-800-661-6844, toll free from anywhere in the province. Tip information is confidential and callers can remain anonymous. 

Journalists: If you'd like to be notified by email whenever we issue a news release, please visit our newsroom to sign up.

At ICBC, we're committed to our 3.2 million customers and their safety on the road. We license and insure drivers and vehicles across the province through our service centres, plus a network of more than 900 independent brokers and government agent offices. Claims customers are served through local offices and our award-winning Dial-a-Claim call centre. We add value to B.C. communities - our road safety investments help create safer roads, lead to fewer crashes, and help keep our rates stable. To find out more, visit icbc.com.

Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/icbc.


SOURCE ICBC

For further information:

Media contacts: Adam Grossman, 604-982-1332

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ICBC

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Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

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