Regulator Successfully Keeps Chatham-Area Man from Returning to Car Sales Industry

TORONTO, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - OMVIC, Ontario's Vehicle Sales Regulator, successfully kept a former dealer from re-entering the industry, after the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) heard evidence of "extensive fraudulent behaviour" and "dishonest and deceptive behaviour".

The LAT hearing commenced after OMVIC issued a Proposal to Refuse registration to Vincenzo Joseph Sacripanti; the Merlin Ontario  man had applied to become a registered salesperson for All Cars Sales and Leasing (2196596 Ontario Limited) of Chatham. "We had serious concerns about this applicant" said Mary Jane South, OMVIC Deputy Registrar. "His past conduct created serious concerns he would not carry on business with honesty, integrity and in accordance with the law, as required by the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA)".

Evidence presented at the LAT hearing by Stephen Burnham, a former investigator for the Bank of Nova Scotia, demonstrated in 2008 Sacripanti used non-existent vehicles and phony vehicle identification numbers (VINs) to secure hundreds of thousands of dollars in loans from the bank when he was owner of VSJKJ Automotive Limited, operating as Banks Mazda. It was determined Sacripanti used "this fraudulent scheme" in an attempt to keep his financially-struggling dealership in operation. In late 2008, Banks Mazda closed.

Failed to Disclose

In 2010, following the closure of his Mazda dealership, Sacripanti applied for OMVIC registration to work as a salesperson for a Chatham Toyota Dealership. In his registration application, Sacripanti failed to disclose Scotiabank's collection efforts, a violation of the MVDA. Later, Sacripanti applied for registration as a salesperson with All Cars Sales and Leasing and again failed to disclose Scotiabank's collection efforts of $3.5 million. At that time OMVIC became aware of Sacripanti's past conduct and non-disclosures and issued the Proposal to Refuse registration.

A Long History

The recent LAT hearing was not Sacripanti's first brush with OMVIC.

In the late 90's Sacripanti worked as the General Manager of a Leamington Ford dealer. In 1999 OMVIC issued a Proposal to Revoke his registration after it was shown Sacripanti was charging Ford Credit Canada Ltd. for accessories that had not actually been installed on vehicles the dealership leased to customers. Sacripanti was terminated by the dealer however at that time, the Ontario Commercial Registration Appeal Tribunal (the predecessor to LAT) ruled that Sacripanti could keep his licence, though subject to terms and conditions.

Recent Decision

In handing down his recent decision, LAT Vice-Chair Gregory Flude wrote "when the Applicant had the opportunity to do so, the Applicant carried out extensive frauds on financial institutions" and the Applicant's assertions that OMVIC "was on a witch hunt" because of the 1999 hearing is "ludicrous and offensive". The Tribunal then directed OMVIC to carry out its Proposal to Refuse Sacripanti's registration. See the full tribunal decision here.

"Consumers and other businesses must be protected from individuals who operate in such underhanded ways" stated South. "We're pleased with the Tribunal's decision". Accordingly, Vincenzo Joseph Sacripanti is not registered and cannot legally buy or sell vehicles in Ontario.

Information Regarding OMVIC Registration

The MVDA requires all Ontario motor vehicle dealers and salespeople be registered with OMVIC. All registrants undergo screening including a Canada-wide criminal background check. New applicants must also successfully complete a course in automotive law and ethics. Consumers can check the status of a dealer or salesperson's registration at omvic.on.ca; they can also ask to see the dealer or salesperson's OMVIC registration certificate (licence); by law it must be carried by the registrant and be presented to anyone asking to see it.

Important Note: Individuals or businesses operating as dealers without registration are considered curbsiders and can be charged and prosecuted by OMVIC. Click here or visit omvic.on.ca for a list of recent curbsider convictions.

About OMVIC

OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the Ministry of Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's 8,000 dealerships and 25,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.

Image with caption: "Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) (CNW Group/Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140522_C9465_PHOTO_EN_40635.jpg

SOURCE: Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC)

For further information:

Terry O'Keefe
Director of Communications
416-226-4500x3525
Terry.Okeefe@omvic.on.ca
Web: www.omvic.on.ca

Sarah Choudhury
Communications Officer
416-226-4500x3172
Sarah.Choudhury@omvic.on.ca
Web: www.omvic.on.ca

Amy Paterson
Communications Assistant
416-226-4500x3335
Amy.Paterson@omvic.on.ca
Web:  www.omvic.on.ca


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