Criminal charges laid against suspected fraudsters: Manitoba Public Insurance

A total of six charges have been laid against two individuals who allegedly committed separate frauds against Manitoba Public Insurance.

“Following extensive investigations, these files were forwarded to the provincial prosecution office for review,” explained Curtis Wennberg, vice-president, Customer Service and COO.

“These charges fall within either the Criminal Code, the MPIC Act or Highway Traffic Act. A conviction of any nature is a very serious consequence of auto insurance fraud. A criminal record can affect travelling across the border, employment or business opportunities. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime and this criminal activity affects honest Manitobans through their premiums.”

Education about auto insurance fraud is further heightened as March is Fraud Awareness Month in Canada.

Recently, MPI announced that auto insurance fraud costs every Manitoba Public Insurance ratepayer about $50 a year on their annual vehicle insurance bill and honest Manitobans are helping MPI more than ever. Anyone with information about auto insurance fraud is encouraged to call the Manitoba Public Insurance TIPS Line: 204-985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477. All calls are anonymous.

Suspicious claims are handled by MPI’s Special Investigation Unit which continues to enhance its investigative methods, saving Manitobans nearly $13 million in fraudulent claims last year ─ the highest claims savings in a decade.

Names of the individuals are not being made public as they are presumed innocent until proven guilty in the courts. Details of their alleged frauds are below:

“Bogus hit and run claim”

The registered owner opened a hit and run claim with MPI after stating he discovered damage while washing his car. The tall tale quickly unraveled after an eye witness came forward and said they had actually assisted the man, whose vehicle became stuck to another vehicle while backing up in a parking lot. After considerable effort both vehicles were detached.

The man then quickly drove away without leaving any details. Fortunately, the eye witness was able to provide a detailed description of the responsible driver and licence plate number.

The 39-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged with:

  • Failure to leave information
  • Fraud under $5,000
  • Knowingly providing false information
  • Making false statement

“Staged collision”

The registered owner told his MPI adjuster that his vehicle had been struck by another vehicle. Damage was significant to both vehicles. An investigation was launched after additional information was obtained by MPI staff.

An independent collision analyst was able to conclusively determine that a “bullet and target” collision was staged, whereas one vehicle is stationary at the time of the crash. When presented with this information the registered owner withdrew his claim ($8,600 saving to MPI ratepayers).

The 27-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged with the following:

  • Fraud over $5,000
  • Provide false information

More information about insurance fraud

Fraud Prevention Month is an annual campaign held in March that aims to prevent Canadians from becoming victims of fraud.

Insurance fraud – automobile, home or health care – costs Canadians more than $3 billion a year in premiums, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

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