Toronto Towing & Auto Services company and owner jointly fined $64,000 for illegal car sales and unfair business practices

TORONTO, July 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Roberto Iraheta and Roberto Towing & Auto Services Inc. pleaded guilty Tuesday in Toronto Provincial Offences Court to two counts each of acting as a dealer without benefit of registration (curbsiding), contrary to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) and two counts each of engaging in unfair business practices by making false, misleading or deceptive statements, contrary to the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

In Ontario, all dealers and salespersons must be registered with the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC). Unregistered companies, or individuals who sell motor vehicles as a matter of business, are considered curbsiders, and are breaking the law. Iraheta was fined $15,000, and the company $13,000, for curbsiding.

Iraheta was also fined $24,000 and the company $12,000, for making false, misleading or deceptive statements about the history of the vehicles sold. This included a false statement about the accident history of a vehicle and a false statement about the distance a vehicle had travelled.

Iraheta and Roberto Towing & Auto Services Inc. were charged by OMVIC, regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, in 2010, after OMVIC investigators received information vehicles were being sold from 15 Elrose Avenue in Toronto. OMVIC's investigation found approximately 31 vehicles had been sold, some of which were rebuilt insurance write-offs.

The total fines in this case including 25% Victim Fine Surcharges (VFS) were $80,000. Iraheta and Roberto Towing and Auto Services Inc. were given one year to pay. Iraheta was also given two years probation which included an order that he "not trade in motor vehicles without benefit of registration under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act".

Curbsiding is a growing problem in Ontario. In this instance the curbsiding took place at a business, however curbsiders often pose as private sellers to avoid detection and today's online marketplaces make it easier for curbsiders to list and sell vehicles with anonymity. It is estimated 25% of all 'private' classified car advertisements are actually placed by curbsiders. These illegal sellers often misrepresent themselves and the vehicles they trade which are frequently accident damaged (or previous write-offs), odometer tampered or they have liens.

Consumers should understand that if they buy a vehicle privately, or from a business that is not a registered dealer, they are not protected by OMVIC or by Ontario Consumer Protection law.

To learn more about curbsiders and how to spot them consumers may visit buywithconfidence.ca.

To report a suspected curbsider: 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or nocurbs@omvic.on.ca

About OMVIC:

The Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) 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 24,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions. OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its Board of Trustees.

SOURCE Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council - OMVIC

For further information:

Terry O'Keefe
Manager of Communications, Media Relations and Education
416-226-4500x3525
Email: terry.okeefe@omvic.on.ca
Web: www.omvic.on.ca
www.buywithconfidence.ca

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Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council - OMVIC

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