TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2014 /CNW/ - An Ontario Judge has handed down a strong sentence to a "directing mind of several clinics" involved in a staged collision ring. Project Whiplash, a Toronto Police Services fraud investigation, supported by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), member insurance companies and Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), has cost the Ontario public more than $4 million in fraudulent claims.
"We applaud this appropriate sentence," said Rick Dubin, Vice-President, Investigative Services, IBC. "It is significant and will hopefully act as a strong deterrent for others considering this type of illegal conduct. It makes it clear that the courts are taking these crimes more seriously by imposing harsher penalties and restitution."*
The ring submitted auto insurance claims that they purported to have been signed or authorized by several Ontario registered health practitioners, including five chiropractors, a massage therapist and a kinesiologist, when in fact they had not been. The fraudsters also staged several auto collisions, made accident reports to police and filed false injury claims, which resulted in payments for medical treatments that were never provided and income replacement benefits based on false employment submissions.
Vishnukanthan Sabapathy of Markham, Ont., pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000 for his involvement in false billings from health clinics and for making false insurance claims. He was sentenced to two years less a day in jail and ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution for his role in the scam (he paid $500,000 up front and was ordered to pay $800,000 more).
"Insurance crime is big business that siphons dollars away from our health care system, ties up emergency services and our courts and drives up insurance premiums," said Dubin. "Ontario auto insurance fraud adds $200 to $300 to everyone's premium. When they cheat, we all pay."
If you suspect or have information about a case of insurance fraud, contact IBC's anonymous TIPS Line (1-877-IBC-TIPS) or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-TIPS).
*As this matter is before the courts, there will be no further comment from IBC.
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 $48 billion.
SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada
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