‘Mr. Loose Lips’
One Winnipeg man found out the hard way that honesty, albeit criminal in intent, doesn’t always pay. The man had opened an auto theft claim with Manitoba Public Insurance, but since he had had a similar theft claim three years earlier, he was brought in for an interview with an investigator.
When asked how to explain the similarities of both thefts, the man blurted out that the first claim was, in fact, bogus. The vehicle’s engine was blown and he had arranged for it to be stolen, and then burned.
But he assured the investigator that his new claim was legit!
“There is no statute of limitations with respect to fraud charges and convictions,” explained Tim Arnason, Director of the Special Investigation Unit. “While this case was somewhat unusual in terms of length of years, it ultimately proves that fraudsters may eventually be caught and dealt with by Manitoba’s justice system.”
The man pled guilty to fraud under $5,000 and received a $1,000 fine.
‘Smile! You’re on candid camera’
This Winnipeg man was a dedicated paper carrier. Perhaps too dedicated. As the result of a motor vehicle collision, the man claimed his injuries prevented him from carrying out his job as a newspaper distributor. Manitoba Public Insurance began paying the man income replacement.
But the man’s dedication to his profession proved too much to resist. He started working again. And he still collected money from Manitoba Public Insurance.
One of the daily stops on the man’s route was the downtown head office of Manitoba Public Insurance. Unbeknownst to him, he was captured by surveillance cameras going about his business. Busted!
The man pled guilty to the charge of fraud under $5000. A judge fined the man $750 and ordered restitution to Manitoba Public Insurance in the amount of $2,252.70.
This ambitious fraudster didn’t stop at one crime ― he tried to pull three separate frauds on Manitoba Public Insurance. He was originally injured in an automobile crash that he said rendered him unable to carry out his employment as a snow-removal operator. He began receiving income replacement from Manitoba Public Insurance.
As time went on, the man opened two more theft claims with the public auto insurer ― one for a stolen truck cap and one for a snowmobile trailer.
Thanks to an anonymous call to the TIPS Line, Manitoba Public Insurance decided to investigate the man’s claims. Investigators were able to confirm that the man had returned to work while still collecting payments from Manitoba Public Insurance, and he had never owned a truck cap or snowmobile trailer.
“This one tip from an honest Manitoban saved our ratepayers thousands of dollars,” said Arnason.
The ‘Hattrick Fraudster’ pled guilty to two counts of fraud over $5000. He was fined $2,000 and received a nine-month conditional jail sentence. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $17,000 to Manitoba Public Insurance.
‘Dug himself into a hole’
After crashing his vehicle, this man claimed he was too injured to continue his work at a funeral home. He soon began collecting income replacement payments from Manitoba Public Insurance.
It was soon discovered that the man continued to attend the funeral home on a daily basis. He told his adjustor that he was only going there to “do paperwork” or “play on the computer.”
An investigation revealed that the man was actually continuing to perform all of the physical work – embalming, lifting bodies and caskets – that he claimed to be unable to do due to the accident.
The man pled guilty to making a false statement, and was fined $3,500 plus costs, which totalled just under $5,000. He also paid restitution of $10,000 to Manitoba Public Insurance.
‘He said, she said’
After their vehicle got into a two-vehicle crash, a man told his Manitoba Public Insurance adjuster that his wife had been driving. And she willingly confirmed his story. One problem: the other driver clearly remembered who was driving ― the man.
And how did the other driver remember so vividly? He clearly remembered that the ‘male’ driver of the other vehicle was very uncooperative about exchanging details at the crash scene.
The true facts then quickly came out: the man was disqualified from driving.
The man pled guilty to charges of making a false statement and driving while disqualified, and was fined a total of $3,000. He was also sentenced to 14 days in jail due to a previous charge of driving while disqualified.
The man’s wife paid $1,368 to Manitoba Public Insurance, which paid for the damage to the other vehicle.