Canadian Underwriter

97 defendants now allegedly involved in stolen vehicle ring

September 30, 2007   by

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A total of 97 defendants are now allegedly involved in the conversion of vehicles related to 49 stolen vehicle claims, after four civil actions were filed by the ICBC against 95 Lower Mainland residents recently.

“ICBC has zero tolerance for fraud,” Steve Tripp, ICBC manager of Fraud Prevention and Investigation, said in a release. “We invest in more fraud prevention and investigation than most property and casualty insurance companies in Canada, because less crime means low and stable rates for our customers.”

The civil actions filed last week relate to 31 stolen vehicles claims from 2002 until 2003.

“ICBC is seeking to recover approximately $1.2 million; the cost paid out for the allegedly stolen vehicles plus the cost to investigate the claims, legal fees, and punitive damages,” the release notes.

The vehicles were reported stolen in British Columbia, and then Alberta registration documents were forged with a new Vehicle Identification Number, according to actions filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Allegedly, the forged documents were used in B.C. to create brand new identities to the cars, making it seem as though they were being brought in from Alberta, the release said.

“A joint ICBC and police investigation led to the detection of the scheme,” according to the release. “In the fall of 2003, the vehicles, or parts of the vehicles, were seized by the police and identified as being stolen.”

The public is encouraged to help fight fraud. Information provided to ICBC’s fraud tips line (604-661-6844 or 1-800-661-6844) is confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

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