Traffic Services in partnership with the Financial Crimes Unit, the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, conducted a joint investigation involving a significant number of staged collisions where fraudulent motor vehicle insurance claims were made. These staged collisions involved owner/operators of auto body shops, rehabilitation centers and paralegals.
The investigative team was led by Detective Mike McCulloch who was the driving force behind the initiation of the project. His team worked cooperatively with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and Toronto Police Service Financial Crimes Unit for several months gathering all the documentary evidence they required to proceed with charges. They developed an orderly and systematic method managing the tens of thousands of pages of documentary evidence. Disclosure briefs were prepared prior to arresting any suspects. By doing this in advance of the arrests, it eliminated any potential disclosure issues which often arise in cases of this size. Numerous meeting were held with representatives from the IBC, FSCO and the Crowns Office to strategize and determine the appropriate charges to be laid. Meetings were also held with the Greater Toronto Area police agencies to determine that the staged collision investigations were not overlapping and therefore wasting valuable time and resources.
A detailed operational plan was made and this addressed all aspects of the investigation and take down. All efforts were made throughout the investigation to minimize premium pay. There was communication with all assisting units and agencies ensuring that they were made aware in advance of their roles and
responsibilities on the day of the take down. As a result of the attention to detail, Project Whiplash proceeded efficiently and professionally. A total of 37 suspects were arrested with over 130 charges laid. FSCO also laid an additional 30 charges.
In recognition of their professionalism and commitment to protecting us all from those who engage in insurance crimes and offences that ultimately cost every one, Detective Michael Mcculloch & Philip Chung, police constables Stefan Nasner, Mark Poliak, Melanie Rathbone, Kajamuganathan Kathiravelu, & Belinda Tuckwell are awarded with a teamwork commendation. Kathy Metzger and Kirk Quinn of the Insurance Bureau of Canada; Gary Logan and Terry Weller of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario; Larissa Easson, the Crown assisgned to the Financial Services Commission of Ontario and Scott Patterson and John Scutt the Crowns assigned to financial crimes are awarded with a Partnership award.