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Old 03-09-2004, 11:51 AM   #1
ashtaron14
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OMGHi2U Licensing Fraud

Cool Beans, kinda explain the bad drivers in their expensive cars

Quote:
Driving instructor, examiner arrested
ICBC says as many as 200 licences were issued for cash to people who never passed their tests

Chad Skelton
Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A driving school instructor and provincial driving examiner have been arrested in connection with a fraud ring that allegedly issued as many as 200 B.C. drivers licences to people who had not passed -- and, in some cases, not even taken -- their driving tests.

"We have been successful in breaking up this fraud ring," Mark Withenshaw, vice-president of loss management for the Insurance Corp. of B.C., said Monday.

On Monday, ICBC filed a lawsuit against 15 recipients of the fraudulent licences, Dragon Driving School in Richmond, the school's owner, Foon-Wai (David) Chiu and Crispine Argana Diaz, a driver examiner who works in ICBC's Burnaby office.

Both Chiu and Diaz were arrested by police Friday morning and had their homes searched. Both were later released.

Police are preparing a report to Crown counsel on the case, but so far no criminal charges have been laid.

ICBC said disciplinary action is pending against Diaz and she has not been allowed to return to work.

The insurer also said that, while it has only sued a small number of the licence recipients, it has already determined that at least 92 licences, and possibly as many as 200 or more, were issued fraudulently.

Those 92 licences have already been cancelled, said ICBC spokesman Doug McLelland.

ICBC's lawsuit alleges that Chiu's driving school placed several ads in Chinese-language newspapers that promised customers that the school had "the highest passing rate in the city" and that customers were "guaranteed to pass" with "both road and knowledge [tests] guaranteed within a week."

Normally, under B.C.'s graduated licensing program, drivers must go through a series of steps to obtain their licence, taking several written and road tests and having several months of experience at each level before advancing to the next stage.

However, ICBC alleges that Chiu's clients paid him between $2,000 to $8,000 to avoid taking some, or all, of the required tests.

Chiu then allegedly paid Diaz to record a "pass" in ICBC's computer system, often without the customer taking the test at all.

According to ICBC's statement of claim, Diaz was paid $500 for every "pass" on a written test and another $500 for every "pass" on a driver's test.

Brian Sargent, ICBC's lead investigator on the case, said in some cases the only time Dragon's clients entered an ICBC office was to have their picture taken.

Most of Dragon's clients are recent immigrants who are unable to speak English, Sargent said.

He said it is not clear at this point whether Dragon's clients were aware what they were doing was wrong, or if they were told that this was the way licences were issued in Canada.

However, Sargent said, "considering the amounts involved it would be naive to think that they didn't at least question the possibility that it was illegal."

The normal fee for obtaining a licence, he said, is $75.

ICBC's lawsuit seeks to have Diaz and Chiu forfeit any bribes they received, as well as any property they bought with the money.

ICBC's lawyer, Frank Potts, said the B.C. Supreme Court has already agreed to freeze their assets.

The insurer is also seeking the return of about $40,000 it paid out in claims for four accidents that were caused by individuals holding fraudulent licences.

The lawsuit also seeks punitive damages against the defendants, and claimed that Diaz and Chiu, by issuing false licences, put the public at risk.

Neither Diaz or Chiu would comment Monday.

RCMP spokesman Sergeant John Ward said police are also investigating whether identity theft may have been involved.

"That's one of the issues that concerns us greatly," he said. "These driver's licences might be used to identify individuals."

He said police are checking to see if any licences were issued under false names.

According to its lawsuit, ICBC believes the fraud has been going on "since at least 2000".

However, it only began investigating last September after it received an anonymous tip from a concerned Chinese-speaking citizen.

While those who were issued with fraudulent licences will have their fake licences revoked, Withenshaw said, there is nothing in the Motor Vehicle Act to prevent them from re-applying.

"They are eligible to re-apply and go through the proper licensing provisions," he said.

ICBC has forwarded a request to the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles to have Dragon's licence to operate a driving school revoked.

Brett Lowther, a spokesman for the solicitor general's office, said the superintendent had not yet received ICBC's request and would not comment on the case.

Withenshaw said ICBC has implemented measures to prevent such a fraud happening again.

One of those measures is to more closely monitor how often driver examiners enter test results into their computers.

He said one of the things investigators in this case noticed was that Diaz entered far more test results each hour than she could have possibly conducted.

This is not the first time ICBC has had to deal with widespread licence fraud.

In 1993, an RCMP investigation uncovered a licence-for-sale scam in Richmond and Surrey.

More than 500 fraudulent licences were cancelled in that case.
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Old 03-09-2004, 12:01 PM   #2
tora
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I just got a letter in the mail asking for my licence back. I didn't know you had to take a test to get your licence? My instructor just told me you have to take a lesson and pay lots of money..........

That guy could have made up to 1.6 million dollars for 200 licences if he was able to get $8000 for them....even if it was $2000 per licence he would have made $400,000. And the woman would have got $100,000 for passing people. WOW!! I just got a new business plan!
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Old 03-09-2004, 12:20 PM   #3
Necromancer
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Yeah, that's about right.

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Yeah, my bad, I saw Jamie reading the Chinese newspaper and thought something was up, so I phoned in the tip.
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Old 03-09-2004, 01:01 PM   #4
steve
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Is anyone really surprised by this?
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Old 03-09-2004, 01:20 PM   #5
AllWheelDrift
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Quote:
Originally posted by hypa
Is anyone really surprised by this?
Yes, I'm shocked and outraged!

Well, I'm not shocked, but I'm sort of outraged or I would be if I were remotely surprised. Given how people in Vancouver and Richmond drive it's really no surprise. I'm sure there's more of this going on though, because there are more than 200 drivers on the road that couldn't possibly have passed their exams.
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Old 03-09-2004, 01:37 PM   #6
Ken
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Yeah, you'd feel pretty bitter having known someone with an illegally obtained license boned your car up.
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Old 03-09-2004, 03:11 PM   #7
Koyo
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Not surprised at all. I really want to see that guy and the ICBC lady get harsh penalty for it. Plus ICBC is going to go after those people with fraud charges and get all the money they claim so far.
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:31 PM   #8
steve
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Koyo makes a good point.
These people have claimed a ton of money for accidents, etc. which costs us all. I hope they throw the book at them. Deportation maybe, since fraud is a serious crime.


AllWheelDrift, outraged is a great word to use for this situation.....
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:35 PM   #9
[freeman]
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Damn, and I really needed to get my BC licence too....anyone know how I could get around testing?

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Old 03-09-2004, 04:41 PM   #10
imprezaboi
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I am not surprised at all about this, there are just so many bad drivers out there crashing into my car!

They have just now found a small fraction of whats been goign on for the pass little while.
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Old 03-09-2004, 04:43 PM   #11
AllWheelDrift
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Quote:
Originally posted by [freeman]
Damn, and I really needed to get my BC licence too....anyone know how I could get around testing?

Meet me in a dark alley and I'll take care of things so you won't have to worry about the test... I'll be the guy with the lead pipe.
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Old 03-09-2004, 05:02 PM   #12
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Passing is easy anyways, drive a few times round the block and it's done. If you can't do that then you should be nowhere near the road!

Much tougher in the UK where you do roundabouts, lane changes, highway driving, reversing around bends, three point turns, emergency stop etc....

Anyone read John's thread over in OT? Funny..........
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:44 PM   #13
Necromancer
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Yeah, that's about right.

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What thread? Link please!
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Old 03-09-2004, 08:49 PM   #14
Koyo
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I recommand 30 hours with an instructor and then go to one of those driving school like BMW or VCMC to get your control skills up to task. Regular driving school only teach you how to pass but not necessary how to properly control the car.

The really scary part of this story is that they ident at least 200 people. 200 FREAKING IDIOTS THAT DON'T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE OR READ THE FREAKING SIGN.
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Old 03-09-2004, 09:09 PM   #15
Davidhtam
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No kidding man. I really hate driving around bad drivers. It's scary. People need to learn how to shoulder check, not just look in their mirrors. Some old lady tried changing into my lane when i was right beside her. I was soooooooooooo damn scared! Another thing i've noticed with bad drivers is that they ALWAYS step on the breaks. You may be going the same speed as them, but they're still stepping on the breaks and when they really start to slow down, you don't know becuase the stupid break light is on all the time!
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Old 03-10-2004, 01:37 AM   #16
KIMUTAKU
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this is terrible..

but 200 licences is a pretty small number imo..

if it was 2000 then i would be scared..
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Old 03-10-2004, 02:29 AM   #17
dugrant153
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gethin
Much tougher in the UK where you do roundabouts, lane changes, highway driving, reversing around bends, three point turns, emergency stop etc....
True that! Plus, I heard you had to take a rally course and be able to powerslide through the UK Special Stage before getting a full license

hahahaha j/k


But seriously, maybe it's people like this who make it so it costs me annually 2200 CDN dollars to insure a 1985 FWD Corolla O_o...

ARGH!!!!!
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