ICBC uncovers a suspected fraud ring and initiates action

June 12, 2006 – Civil action filed against 24 claimants allegedly involved in 12 fraudulent collisions On June 12, 2006, ICBC filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court against 24 people who were allegedly involved in conspiracies to defraud ICBC. It is suspected the claimants intentionally caused motor vehicle collisions and then made fraudulent claims to ICBC for compensation.

ICBC is seeking to recover $377, 561.08 for claims costs and legal bills associated with the allegedly false insurance claims, plus damages resulting from investigative costs, punitive damages, interest and additional legal costs.

“ICBC has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to fraud,” said Mark Withenshaw, ICBC vice president of Loss Management. “We will not sit back and simply pass the cost of fraud onto our customers.”

In the Statement of Claim, ICBC alleges that various defendants, mostly residing in Abbotsford, were involved in 12 related incidents of insurance fraud. The claims are said to have first occurred in 1995, and involved intentional collisions between vehicles driven by people who knew each other. Occupants of the vehicles later denied these relationships, and/or failed to inform ICBC, in order to conceal the facts that the collisions were intentional.

Many of the collisions are also said to have occurred when one of the defendants failed to stop at a stop sign, or proceeded through a stop sign intersection when it was not safe to do so. And it is alleged that several of the defendants are involved in more than one incident.

For example, it is alleged that in October 1999 Rajinder Mann and Sukhvir Kehal were passengers in a vehicle operated by Rajvir Gill when it was intentionally struck by Gurdeep Sandhu who failed to stop at a stop sign. Mr. Mann is allegedly involved in three other intentional collisions.

The circumstances of each of the 12 related incidents are set out in greater detail in the court documents filed by ICBC. The allegations in the Statement of Claim have not been proven in court.

“ICBC combats fraud to deter others and to recover fraudulent payments. While ICBC seeks to identify potential fraud before the claim is paid, we will also pursue fraudulent claims through civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions,” said Steven Tripp, ICBC manager of Fraud Prevention and Investigation.

B.C. motorists saved more than $73 million in 2005 thanks to ICBC anti-fraud programs. Savings are based on the estimated value of fraudulent claims which were denied, money recovered and savings generated through fraud prevention. In recent years, ICBC’s anti-fraud program has resulted in many convictions for criminal and regulatory offences, as well as large civil judgments and settlements involving the perpetrators of those frauds.