Health & legal professionals to undergo trial following an Aviva fraud investigation
TORONTO, July 6, 2016 /CNW/ - Health and legal professionals, Dr. Edward Hayes (licensed chiropractor), Michelle Osacenco (clinic employee), and Anna Kovtanuka (paralegal) will appear in court for insurance fraud charges next week as a result of an Aviva fraud investigation.
Aviva Canada has filed complaints with the College of Chiropractors of Ontario (CCO) and the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC). Both have confirmed receipt of Aviva's complaints, but both Dr. Edward Hayes and Paralegal Anna Kovtanuka's licenses still remain active today. While Aviva Canada respects the CCO and LSUC's decisions to wait for confirmation of criminal charges, Aviva urges them to suspend the licenses of these individuals in the interim.
"We're pleased that FSCO, the Crown Attorney's Office and the police have taken the necessary steps to protect Ontarians. We hope the CCO and the LSUC will take similar action," said Greg Somerville, President and CEO of Aviva Canada.
"Schemes like this contribute to the $1.6 billion insurance fraud problem in this country. It's especially troubling when fraud is committed by health and legal professionals given their important role in the claims process and the trust accorded to them by the public," continued Somerville. "Insurance fraud strains the pocketbooks of honest customers and that's why we continue to make every effort to stop it."
Background on charges laid and investigation
This past March, Aviva Canada provided the Toronto Police Service with extensive evidence on fraud after a months-long investigation. The video surveillance collected by undercover Aviva Canada investigators led to the police laying fraud charges against three individuals.
Toronto Police Service arrested and charged the following parties on February 5, 2016:
- Edward Hayes (Licensed Chiropractor) – Fraud under $5,000 X 3 (one for each of the undercover operators and one for our insured)
- Michelle Osacenco (Clinic employee) – Fraud under $5,000 X 3 (one for each of the undercover operators and one for our insured)
- Anna Kovtanuka (Paralegal) – Fraud under $5,000 X 2 (one for each of the undercover operators), Possession Under $5,000
On April 15, 2016, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) sent an Interim Order to the Wellness Centres of Ontario to cease operations. The clinic has been closed since March 31, 2016. On May 16, 2016, FSCO issued a Revocation Order and imposed an Administrative Monetary Penalty of $21,985.17 against Wellness Centres of Ontario.
Help stop insurance fraud
What can you do to help protect affordable insurance premiums for all Canadians? Report potential fraud to Aviva Canada's Fraud Information Centre — open 24/7. Email [email protected] or call their hotline at 1 855 332 5255.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 4,000 employees, 27 locations across Canada and approximately 1,500 independent broker partners.
Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada's longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $6.5 million to over 222 charities and community groups nationwide.
SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.
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For further information: Media Contact: Priscilla Wong, Public Relations Specialist, Aviva Canada Inc., Desk: 416 288 6780, Mobile: 647 208 7523, [email protected]