Paralegal Charged Under Insurance Act

TORONTO (December 9, 2002) - The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), has charged a Toronto paralegal under the Insurance Act for making false and misleading statements.

"Fraudulent activity, in any form, ends up costing all policy holders and threatens the integrity of the Insurance Act," said FSCO CEO Bryan Davies. "We intend to act to the fullest extent of our powers to deal with incidents of illegal conduct."

Michael Ricci, 36, faces seven charges of making a false or misleading statement or representation to an insurer in order to obtain payment for goods or services provided to an insured whether or not the insured received the goods or services. Mr. Ricci's first court appearance on these charges is scheduled for January 23, 2003. If convicted of these charges under the Insurance Act, Mr. Ricci could face a fine of up to $100,000 per charge.

Mr. Ricci also faces 36 criminal charges in connection with payments from automobile insurance claims.

Mr. Davies reminded people they should take the time to thoroughly check the credentials of the people hired to represent them. "Those injured in accidents have already suffered enough," added Mr. Davies. "They need to ensure they are getting the proper representation, someone with the expertise to assist them."

FSCO is the provincial regulator responsible for automobile insurance, as well as other lines of insurance, mortgage brokers, pensions, co-operatives, credit unions and caisse populaires.

For more information
Brian Donlevy, Information Officer
(416) 590-7057