TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - North York Health and Rehabilitation Centre (1280 Finch Avenue West, Suite 519, Toronto, Ontario) was ordered to pay $75,000 in fines on Monday after its principals pleaded guilty last fall to engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance related to auto insurance fraud. Coincidentally, the stiff penalty was handed down as March Fraud Prevention Month gets underway.
The fine and conviction came as a result of provincial regulator Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) prosecutions related to cooperative investigations into a Toronto area staged collision and health care fraud ring. The investigations involved several insurers and IBC Investigative Services in support of the Toronto Police Services' Project Whiplash. According to Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), insurers have paid out an estimated $4 million in fraudulent claims as a result of this scam.
"We brought these criminals to justice because police, IBC, individual insurance companies and FSCO all worked very hard and collaborated well with each other," said Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigative Services, IBC.*
"Insurance crime is big business that siphons dollars away from our health care system, emergency services, courts and insurers. The result is that it costs consumers and results in higher premiums. Higher penalties are the right way to stop these criminals – which is why IBC has long advocated for them," Dubin said. "Having the courts take these crimes seriously by imposing hefty fines sends an important message as we start Fraud Prevention Month," he added.
Three Toronto-area rehabilitation clinics have been convicted of multiple insurance act offences as a result of Project Whiplash with fines as high as $100,000 imposed per conviction.
Jeyakanthan Thivendran, a principal of North York Health and Rehabilitation Centre (1280 Finch Avenue West, Suite 519, Toronto, Ontario), who pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to take reasonable care to prevent the company from providing insurance claims forms to an insurer that were not in accordance with the Insurance Act and regulations, was also fined $5,000.
"We rely on help from the community to catch fraudsters," says Dubin. "IBC encourages people with any information about insurance crime to call our anonymous TIPS Line (1-877-IBC-TIPS) or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS)."
*Because this matter is still before the courts, there will be no further comment on it from IBC.
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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 P&C insurance industry employs over 118,600 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $46 billion.
SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada
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