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Phony Insurer Hit with $75,000 Fine

TORONTO, (MAY 17, 2001) -Ignoring a Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) Cease and Desist Order to stop selling bogus insurance policies, will cost Robert L. Brown $75,000.

Brown, through an entity called Tri-Continental Exchange, was selling an invalid product through barter companies in Ontario. After legal manuevering by Mr. Brown in an effort to avoid the case being heard by the courts, the fine was imposed May 17, 2001 by the Ontario Court of Justice.

Dina Palozzi, Superintendent of Financial Services, hopes this fine sends a clear message to drivers in Ontario. "Anyone owning or driving a car who has dealt with Tri Continental Exchange, Robert L. Brown, or anyone else like them, is in violation of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act. By buying into this scam, these owners and drivers do not have valid automobile insurance in Ontario," Palozzi said.

"I hope that this sends a very clear message to people like Mr. Brown. They are not licensed to sell insurance in Ontario and we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law so they cannot put the people of this province at risk," Palozzi added.

Palozzi advises anyone who has purchased anything through Mr. Brown or Tri-Continental Exchange to contact a licensed insurance seller immediately and get coverage.

A list of licensed insurance companies and agents is available on the FSCO website (www.fsco.gov.on.ca) or by phoning (416) 250-7250 or 1-800-668-0128.

In the past FSCO has issued Cease and Desist Orders against barter companies that were advertising for Mr. Brown or his company. Recently, FSCO has also sent out warning letters to other barter companies informing them of the Cease and Desist Orders against Mr. Brown and others.

Copies of the Cease and Desist Orders may be found on FSCO's website.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario is the regulatory body governing insurance in Ontario.

For more information please contact:
Brian Donlevy
Information Officer
(416) 590-7057
bdonlevy@fsco.gov.on.ca