TORONTO, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - As a result of a cooperative investigation involving the provincial regulator Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), Toronto Police Services, Insurance Bureau of Canada and several member insurers, fines totaling $200,000 and an additional restitution order of $609,000 have been levied against 1697319 Ontario Limited operated as Ontario Rehab Centre (3031 Markham Road, Suite 31, Toronto, Ontario) for its role in false insurance submissions which included costs to Ontario Auto insurers of over $4 million in fraudulent claims.
"These are fraudulent acts that jeopardize the integrity of our health care system, drive up premiums, take valuable time from emergency services, tie up the courts and cost everyone," said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, Insurance Bureau of Canada. "Criminals need to be brought to justice. The cooperation between police, IBC investigators, individual insurance companies and FSCO helped make this possible."
Earlier this year, individuals and other clinics were convicted under similar charges.
In this instance, 1697319 Ontario Limited operated as Ontario Rehab Centre was charged by FSCO with one count each of:
- Knowingly making a false or misleading statement to an auto insurer to obtain payment for goods and services provided to an insured; and
- Engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
Each conviction resulted in the maximum fine of $100,000. Justice of the Peace Mark Conacher referred to the significant cost to all of the public who drive and have to maintain insurance. He commented that he thought what was "particularly egregious" was the corporation's use of the names and credentials of practitioners long after they had left the company, due to the potential to sully the reputation of the health care providers. He went on to say that in a case like this it was important to provide a deterrent; and remarked that, "This is clearly a case that calls for the strongest sentence possible." He issued a restitution order in the amount of $609,112. The total of the penalty imposed was $809,112.
Dubin added, "Insurance crime is big business that siphons dollars away from our health care system, emergency services, courts and insurers. They cheat and we all pay. Having the court take these crimes seriously by imposing hefty fines and restitution sends an important message."
If anyone suspects or has information about insurance fraud, contact IBC's anonymous TIPS Line (1-877-IBC-TIPS) or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS).
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is pleased to celebrate 50 years as a valuable resource for insurance information. Since 1964, IBC has been working with governments across Canada to make our communities safer, championing issues that directly affect Canadians and the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry. IBC is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the P&C insurance market in Canada. The private P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes and levies to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $48 billion.
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SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada
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