Largest conviction in AMVIC's history upheld by Court of Appeal

EDMONTON, Sept. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of an RV dealer who defrauded 36 Albertans in a scam in Millet, Alberta.  On September 16, 2015 Donszelmann's conviction appeal and request for a new trial was dismissed.

In April, 2014 an 11-person jury convicted Donszelmann of 31 counts of fraud over $5,000 under Section 380(1)(a) of the Criminal Code. AMVIC had laid the fraud charges in 2012.

"We are pleased the panel of three justices upheld the conviction," John Bachinski, executive director of Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council said. "Our investigators worked long and hard to bring Donszelmann to justice."

In July, 2014 a Court of Queen's Bench Justice sentenced Donszelmann to seven years in prison. He was ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in restitution to the victims.

Donszelmann has also appealed his sentence. That appeal is outstanding.

Donszelmann, who used to own and operate Leisure RV in Millet, Alberta, sold dozens of RVs to people as part of an elaborate scheme. Many customers entered his so-called management program where he promised to lease the owners' RVs out for them and pay the owners part of the proceeds as an investment of sorts.

The problem was, Donszelmann did not have clear ownership of the RVs meaning he did not have the right to sell them. However, many purchasers got the payments they expected so the scam carried on for years without them realizing they were actually victims, not owners.

Eventually the payments were late or infrequent. Many of the owners got tired of hearing excuses as to why they could not see or access their RVs. Suspicions grew, AMVIC was alerted and launched an investigation and cancelled Donszelmann's business licence in 2007.

"Consumer protection is very important to us which is why we will continue to put a stop to any scammer who tries to take advantage of hardworking Albertans," Bachinski said.  

About AMVIC: The Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) is a regulatory organization authorized by the Minister of Service Alberta to enforce and administer the following legislation in relation to automotive business: the Fair Trading Act; the Automotive Business Regulation; the Cost of Credit Disclosure Regulation, and the Internet Sales Contract Regulation. AMVIC's mandate is to provide consumer protection in Alberta's motor vehicle industry. AMVIC publishes valuable information and tips for consumers, businesses and salespeople at amvic.org.

SOURCE Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC)

For further information: Media inquiries may be directed to: Laura Lowe, Manager of Communications and Education, Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council, 780-468-0476, LLowe@amvic.org

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