Insurance News for Canadian Consumers
Aviva Canada surveillance video and investigation lead to charges against Toronto legal and health care professionals
Chiropractor, paralegal and clinic employee charged by Toronto Police
Toronto, ON (Mar. 14, 2016) – Fraud charges have now been laid following an investigation into alleged fraudulent auto insurance injury claims made via Toronto legal and health professionals. An Aviva Canada customer who stepped forward after allegedly facing pressure to lie about accident injuries prompted the investigation. Aviva Canada subsequently provided Toronto Police Service with video and other supporting evidence that led to the charges.
In video footage obtained by Aviva Canada, a chiropractor and clinic employee from Wellness Centres of Ontario in Toronto are shown explaining to two undercover investigators how they can work together to obtain insurance payouts – despite both investigators stating that they are not hurt.
The video footage also shows a paralegal from Kovtman Law (located near Wellness Centres of Ontario) explaining in great detail, how both the paralegal and the investigator can illegally obtain insurance payouts. The investigator was told he would get a $10,000 insurance settlement in approximately one year; $3,000 to be retained by the law office and $7,000 for the investigator.
Aviva Canada President and CEO Greg Somerville stated, "These so-called professionals are supposed to look out for the best interest of accident victims – and allegedly, this has not been happening. Fraud costs honest insurance customers approximately $130 per year in Ontario and we continue to make every effort to stop it."
A shortened version of the video footage has been posted to Aviva Canada's YouTube channel:
Aviva Canada's anti-fraud team worked closely with police detectives at Toronto's 32 Division leading up to arrests and charges for the following parties:
- Edward Hayes (Licensed Chiropractor) – Fraud under $5,000 × 3 (one for each of the two undercover investigators and one for our insured customer).
- Michelle Osacenco (Clinic employee) – Fraud under $5,000 × 3 (one for each of the two undercover investigators and one for our insured customer).
- Anna Kovtanuka (Paralegal) – Fraud under $5,000 × 2 (one for each of the two undercover investigators); Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000.
All three accused are scheduled to appear in Court on March 17, 2016.
"Consumers need to know that we have an over $1 billion fraud insurance problem in Ontario. We are hopeful that this typical example will raise public awareness that this hurts everyone, and encourage consumers to speak up when they see fraudulent activity," continued Somerville.
Following the charges, Aviva Canada made formal complaints to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the College of Chiropractors of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada. The company also notified the Insurance Bureau of Canada and all other major property and casualty insurers.
What can you do to help protect affordable insurance premiums for all Canadians? Report potential fraud to Aviva Canada's Fraud Information Centre – open 24/7. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call their hotline at 1-855-332-5255.
About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and approximately 1,500 independent broker partners.
Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada's longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $6.5 million to over 222 charities and community groups nationwide.
Source: Aviva Canada
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