Winnipeg, Manitoba — January 1, 2017 — Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) has unveiled its annual list of the top fraud investigations of 2016. This year’s list includes a staged collision, a perjuring pedestrian and a ‘luxury’ Porsche that wasn’t so luxurious after all.
Smile! You’re on camera
A pedestrian said he was hit by a car, injured and was unable to work. However, the driver insisted there was no incident, MPI said.
With the two conflicting statements, investigators went to the scene and checked out security cameras mounted on buildings nearby. After viewing footage from one of the cameras, investigators were able to see the pedestrian approaching the parking lot.
“Clearly, there had been no collision between the vehicle and pedestrian,” MPI said in a statement.
A seasoned collision reconstructionist also confirmed there could not have been any contact between pedestrian and vehicle. In the end, the claim was denied.
Luxury Porsche actually a lemon
The owner of a Porsche told his adjuster that his car was stolen from his apartment block parking lot in Winnipeg. A theft claim was then opened.
However, RCMP notified MPI that a badly damaged and vandalized Porsche had been located outside the city – a full day before the owner claimed his car had been stolen.
During examination of the Porsche, it was discovered the vehicle was in need of major mechanical repairs, which would have cost the owner several thousand dollars.
Based on the police information and mechanical condition of the vehicle, the theft claim was denied.
A man was severely injured in the US after being involved in a crash. His family claimed he had been visiting the US and opened an injury claim with MPI.
While processing the claim, the case manager received information from a number of agencies, and found the man had not lived in Manitoba for several years, making him ineligible for Personal Injury Protection Plan (PIPP) benefits.
According to MPI, all Manitoba residents are entitled to benefits under PIPP. Outside of the province, many insurance plans are structured differently and don’t always provide the coverage available under Manitoba’s plan. Because of this, some individuals may try to claim they are Manitoba residents in order to receive PIPP benefits, MPI said.
Case of a guilty conscience
After a number of unusual details came to surface, a father and son were asked to give a statement to investigators about the theft of a pick-up truck. During the interview the son made a surprising offer: to write a promissory note to MPI for nearly $11,000 (in damage costs).
The investigator found that the father, who was the registered owner, stated the truck had been stolen from his residence. One day after the reported theft, the same truck rear-ended another vehicle and fled the scene with several people witnessing the crash.
The crash that wasn’t
MPI investigators looked into a case of a two-vehicle crash, after a number of unusual details surfaced. It was discovered the two drivers knew each other and their vehicles were both in poor running condition. A traffic reconstructionist testified the crash was a staged collision.
One driver pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000. He received a two-year suspended sentence with supervised probation, 100 hours of community service work and a restitution order of $17,000 to repay MPI.
The second driver, who was also charged with fraud over $5,000, did not appear in court. A warrant for his arrest has since been issued.