ICBC fraudsters ordered to $84K for staging car crashes and making claims | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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ICBC fraudsters ordered to $84K for staging car crashes and making claims

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
September 11, 2020 - 4:30 PM

Seven individuals and a Lower Mainland autobody shop have been found to have purposely staged several car crashes in a scheme to defraud ICBC of more than $80,000.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Duncan said they were profiting by claiming vehicle damages from ICBC and filing suits for personal injury claims.

In the Sept. 8 decision in a civil suit filed by ICBC, Justice Duncan says she didn't believe the defendants’ explanations of the collisions, describing parts of their evidence as "simply unbelievable" and "inherently improbable" and that stories had been concocted.

READ MORE: ICBC recovers cash in staged accident in Surrey to collect insurance payouts

"Some of the defendants clearly tailored their evidence in an attempt to explain inconsistencies," the Justice said. "I do not believe the defendants’ explanations that these collisions were accidents."

According to the decision, the defendants Pro-Choice Auto Body in Surrey, along with Inderjit Singh, Krishma Komal Prakash, Mehrafarin Mehran, Mohammad Raza Rasuli, Mahmoud Haghmohammadi, Gursharanjit Singh Bagri and Major Singh, all collaborated in three vehicles collisions. All three collisions were rear-end accidents that took place in quiet areas without eyewitnesses and all three involved personal injury claims. The staged collisions also took place not far from the autobody shop. Two of the vehicles were written off following the staged crashes.

The case came about following an ICBC investigation into a different matter, but the investigator noticed the peculiar files at Pro-Choice Auto Body and dug deeper. The crashes all took place within a few months in 2013. Ultimately ICBC launched a civil case against Pro-Choice Auto Body, its owner Major Singh, his brother Inderjit Singh, and five others.

The court documents say Pro-Choice Auto Body had been investigated by ICBC previously and lost the ability to directly bill ICBC for work in 2012.

The very lengthy court documents go into very specific details on the three crashes, who were involved, and why there were where they were at the time. The crashes all followed the same pattern – rear-ended crashes with no witnesses – and much of the decision describes how the defendants were connected, although many of the defendants denied knowing each other.

READ MORE: Not listing all the drivers for ICBC insurance costing some car owners big time

"The accounts of each of the defendants who were actually involved in the collisions were inherently improbable," Justice Duncan said. "The evidence of those not actually involved in two of the collisions... to the effect that they were not aware of the staged nature of them was simply not credible."

Justice Duncan describes the evidence from one defendant as "inconsistent with reason and common sense."

Ultimately, Justice Duncan ruled all the collisions had been staged leaving the defendants on the hook for $84,111 with more expenses to come. The Justice says fees and punitive damages will be determined at a post-judgment hearing.

Following the ruling, the personal injury claims will no longer be able to go ahead.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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