May 24, 2012 by Canadian Underwriter
A man personally involved in more than 12 staged auto collisions received a three-and-a-half-year prison term and a freestanding restitution order for $375,000 for his participation in a staged collision ring.
Uthayakanthan Thirunavukkarasu, also known as Max or Mano, entered a guilty plea to instructing the commission of offences for a criminal organization, proceeds of crime, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and fraud charges in connection with a staged collision ring, known as Project 92, across the Greater Toronto Area.
Project 92 uncovered 50 staged collisions. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates insurance exposure to be as high as $25 million.
To date, with the support of two dedicated prosecutors, nearly 300 criminal charges have been laid and 22 individuals convicted.
Thirunavukkarasu recruited more than 40 participants and instructed them to stage collisions in order to make fraudulent property damage and injury claims with insurance companies. In January, he entered a plea of guilty to 17 charges for his role in a dozen separate collisions netting him approximately $1.2 million.
He is the 29th person convicted in relation to this investigation. He is the second person convicted of committing or instructing offenses for the benefit of a criminal organization.
“This significant sentence is the result of teamwork and cooperation among Toronto Police Service, Crown prosecutors, Insurance Bureau of Canada and the insurance industry,” IBC notes in its release. “Insurance crime is not victimless. The cost to everyone is reflected in the health care, emergency services, court and insurance costs….
“In the Project 92 case, one particular staged collision in 2007 went very wrong, and a teenager who acted as a participant suffered a severe and permanent brain injury.”