By Mike Davey
Edmonton, Alberta -- September 13, 2013 -- Officers from Toronto Police Service have arrested Serafattin (George) Solak outside of his home in Edmonton. Solak faces a number of charges stemming from an insurance scam that used free online classified services such as Craigslist and Kijiji to rope in victims. The Financial Services Commission of Ontario had previously issued a public warning about Solak and his connection to a fake insurance scam.
Toronto Police Service officers made the arrest on September 10, 2013, after Aviva Canada worked with the Toronto Police Service and the Ontario Crown Attorney's office to uncover sufficient evidence for a Canada-wide warrant. Solakcurrently in custody awaiting a court appearance in a Toronto courtroom. During the arrest, police officers seized fraudulent Aviva Canada motor vehicle insurance liability cards.
"With the anonymity and ease of classified websites, we have seen a sharp increase in the amount of fake motor vehicle liability insurance cards, also known as pink slips, being sold online," said James Russell, Chief Underwriting Officer for Aviva Canada. "Consumers need to be aware that some individuals have made a business out of defrauding others and use this type of scam as a regular source of income."
Serafattin (George) Solak has been charged with:
â€¢ 1 count of Fraud over $5,000
â€¢ 13 counts of Fraud under $5,000
â€¢ 8 counts of Uttering a Forged Document
â€¢ 4 counts of Misleading Receipts
â€¢ 8 provincial charges of Sell, Give, Distribute Insurance Card
"We want to emphasize that the charges against Mr. Solak are just one instance. Other would-be criminals are trying this over and over again," said Russell. "What people are buying from these individuals is not insurance - it's just a piece of paper that comes with a big risk. Any driver using a fake insurance slip instead of securing valid coverage could potentially be sued for millions of dollars."
It is alleged that Solak advertised insurance for sale on various online classified websites including Kijiji and Craigslist. It is also alleged that he met with a number of potential victims in person, accepted cash or cheques and provided false motor vehicle liability insurance cards.