39 Month Delay Nets Stay of Proceedings in B.C. Man’s Theft and Fraud Case

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has granted a stay of proceedings in a theft and fraud case that he says would have taken more than three years to conclude after charges were laid.

Justice Robert Johnston says the defence is responsible for six months of the delay, but he also blamed the Crown for what he called an unreasonably long wait for a trial date.

The case involves investment adviser Charles Dass, who was accused of defrauding three sets of complainants, including a family that invested $300,000 with him, between January 2000 to December 2007.

The first complaint against Dass was made to the RCMP in Port Alberni in March 2007 but he was not charged until June 2013.

A written ruling released Monday says Dass’s trial was set to conclude in early September 2016, almost 39 months after a myriad of delays.

Johnston suggested a “culture of complacency” was involved in derailing the preliminary trial by nine months though he says it should have been a straightforward process.

 

Wells Fargo will pay $190 million to settle customer fraud case

Reuters

Wells Fargo will pay $185 million in penalties and $5 million to customers that regulators say were pushed into fee-generating accounts that they never requested, officials said on Thursday.

“Wells Fargo reached these agreements consistent with our commitment to customers and in the interest of putting this matter behind us,” the bank said of its settlement with California prosecutors and federal regulators.

“We regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request,” it added.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will receive $100 million of the total penalties — the largest fine ever levied by the agency, which was conceived after the 2008 financial crisis.

“Today’s action should serve notice to the entire industry that financial incentive programs, if not monitored carefully, carry serious risks that can have serious legal consequences,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

Los Angeles officials and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency were also party to the settlement.

In a complaint filed in May 2015, California prosecutors alleged that Wells Fargo pushed customers into costly financial products that they did not need or even request.

According to that complaint, Wells Fargo employees pushed checking account customers into savings, credit and online accounts that could generate fees.

Bank employees were told that the average customer tapped six financial tools but that they should push households to use eight products, according to the complaint.

The bank opened more than 2 million deposit and credit card accounts that may not have been authorized, according to the CFPB.

The bank said that the deal this week settles the “allegations that some of its retail customers received products and services that they did not request.”

In recent financial filings, Wells Fargo has changed how it describes and calculates “cross-sell” — a term for bundling multiple products to retail, wealth management and corporate customers.

The bank added new language to its last annual report, stating that its “approach to cross-sell is needs-based as some customers will benefit from more products, and some may need fewer.”

FSCO: Public Alert – Home Phone Mega Sweepstakes Raffle

CNW – Aug. 30, 2016 – The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is warning consumers about a mail scam conducted by an unlicensed company, Prudential Financial Clearing Services.

This company has issued notices advising recipients that they are among the winners of a U.S. Telecommunication Lottery Sweepstakes Draw or Home Phone Mega Raffle.

The company and others previously identified as operating the same scam claim to be working on behalf of the Multi-State Lottery/Gaming Association to find winners that have not claimed their winnings and to help them navigate the laws and protocols mandated by federal and state regulations on sweepstakes winnings.

The company sends the recipient a cheque – supposedly to help pay taxes, insurance, handling and shipping fees – and urges the recipient to contact the claims representative listed on the document to activate the cheque and start the claims process.

The office addresses provided on the notices are often false locations and advertise themselves as the Division of Unclaimed Funds. Prudential Financial Clearing Services is not affiliated or associated with The Prudential Insurance Company of America, or any of its associated entities which are licenced with FSCO.

This type of scam is commonly known as an advance fee fraud.

Consumers should exercise caution if they receive unsolicited correspondence advising of lottery, sweepstakes, or raffle winnings, and are encouraged to forward copies of the materials received to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

It should be noted that although these companies appear legitimate and may have similar names to registered companies, they are not registered or affiliated with FSCO or the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO).

FSCO’s website contains a list of all insurance companies and agents licensed to do business in Ontario. RIBO’s website contains a list of all brokers licensed to do business in Ontario.

Additional Resources
What to Do If You Think You Are a Victim of a Scam or Fraud

SOURCE Financial Services Commission of Ontario

Remember, legitimate telemarketers have nothing to hide

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Aviva Canada supports the Durham Regional Police Service in taking swift action to lay charges

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Woman Accused of Making Fraudulent Health Care Insurance Claims

A Windsor, Ont., woman has been charged with defrauding a Peterborough, Ont., insurance company of more than $20,000.

Peterborough police began an investigation in November 2014 after getting complaints about fraudulent claims made to the unnamed firm.

Officers allege the woman, who lived in Peterborough between 2011 and 2013, forged documents and made fraudulent health-care claims to her insurance provider totaling approximately $23,000.

Patrice Surette, 43, was arrested on June 6, 2016 and faces multiple charges including fraud over $5,000.

She appeared in Peterborough Provincial Court for a bail hearing and was released from custody, with another court appearance planned for June 16th.

 

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