Man, 73, Charged by Police in Auto Insurance Scam
Hundreds of people could be driving without valid auto insurance. Alexandr Chertin has been charged in relation to an auto insurance scam that could date back to 2013.
Toronto police have arrested a 73-year-old man for allegedly running a counterfeit auto insurance business and issuing fake insurance liability cards to victims.
Police say the suspect is not a licensed insurance broker and isn’t affiliated with any insurance company
Det. Robert Ermacora told reporters at a news conference Tuesday that officers came across the fake insurance slips during a routine vehicle stop.
On Oct. 28, investigators from the Financial Crimes Unit and Toronto police executed three criminal code search warrants covering areas near Berry Rd., and Stephen Dr., Finch Ave. W. and Dufferin St., and Finch Ave.W. and Norfinch Dr.
As a result of the investigation, Alexandr Chertin has been charged with two counts of defrauding the public over $5,000, two counts of fraud over $5000, and two counts of uttering a forged document.
According to police, Chertin has allegedly been selling fake or counterfeit liability insurance slips, otherwise known as pink slips, and has been collecting monthly cash payments from victims.
A pink slip is evidence that you have insurance for your vehicle.
Ermacora estimates there could be more than 100 victims of the scam who are driving without valid insurance.
He notes that “anyone operating their motor vehicles with non-existent insurance, they’re subject to enforcement by police officers. If they got stopped and it’s discovered they don’t have insurance on those vehicles, they will be facing a first-time fine of $5,000.”
Richard Dubin, vice-president of Investigation Services with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, called issuing fake pink slips a “risky proposition.”
“Think about this: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If someone offers you insurance in a donut shop rather than in your office, you really have to question the legitimacy of the transaction,” Dubin said.
Police say that victims believed they were receiving a discounted rate on their insurance. The scam could date back to 2013.
Several insurance companies have paid out more than $1 million to cover the claims of victims who believed they were insured.
The investigation is ongoing. Police encourage possible victims to contact police at 416-808-2222 and to verify that their insurance is legitimate.
Chertin is scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall on Nov. 25, at 10 a.m.