TORONTO, Dec. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - "Today's announcement marks a significant
step in the fight against insurance fraud," says Rick Dubin, Vice
President, Investigative Services, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
IBC commends the York Regional Police efforts which have now resulted in
charges against 9 additional individuals on the Project Sideswipe
It is alleged that the 9 individuals charged today, have been identified
as current or former owners, principals, managers or key medical or
legal service providers for at least 9 facilities generating suspected
false insurance claims. These facilities included medical assessment
centres, injury treatment clinics, legal services offices, and auto
repair shops and were extensively involved in the auto insurance claims
associated to the alleged staged collisions currently being prosecuted.
Dubin says, "For the first time, we see medical practitioners allegedly
operating at private, for profit medical clinics included in the
charges. The nature of the criminal charges announced today in this
case, including offenses related to alleged organized crime activity,
proceeds of crime, money laundering, conspiracy and fraud speak to the
suspected highly organized exploitation of the insurance system."
Project Sideswipe involves nine alleged staged collisions that occurred
in York Region along with suspected associated false medical billings
from several medical rehab and assessment centres located in Brampton,
Toronto and Mississauga.
"While York Region has taken the lead on this investigation, it shows
the problems are widespread," says Dubin. Recently, the Ontario
Anti-Fraud Task Force Steering Committee released its final report with
a series of recommendations. The report also included a study --
conducted by KPMG -- that estimated the cost of auto insurance fraud in
Ontario was between $769 million to $1.6 billion annually - and this
was viewed by the Ontario Government's consultants as a conservative
"Among the recommendations was the licensing of rehabilitation and
assessment clinics that treat and assess auto insurance
claimants. With today's additional charges, everyone should appreciate
that this is a major problem in our fight against fraud to make auto
insurance in Ontario both affordable and sustainable. IBC urges the
Ontario government to act now and implement the recommendations from
the Anti-Fraud Task Force Steering Committee," adds Dubin.
IBC is dedicated to helping build an environment that allows the
government to introduce much-needed reforms in the fight against fraud
and will continue to be vigilant on the fraud file and work with law
enforcement, insurance companies, government and the public to
investigate fraudulent activity, and to continually raise awareness of
a problem that affects everyone.
IBC recently partnered with Crime Stoppers in an effort to provide
consumers with another avenue to submit their anonymous tips about
suspected insurance fraud and vehicle theft. People can now
anonymously submit tips to 1-800-222-TIPS or also report fraud on ibc.ca.
About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association
representing Canada's private home, car and business insurers. Its
member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C)
insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over
114,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal,
provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of
To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC's
website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.
If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to
discuss the details in this media release.
SOURCE: INSURANCE BUREAU OF CANADA
For further information:
To schedule an interview, please contact:
Media Relations Officer
Insurance Bureau of Canada
416-362-2031 ext. 4312