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The race to the bottom: Manitoba Public Insurance’s top 5 frauds of 2021

Click to play video: 'MPI’s top fraud cases in 2021' MPI’s top fraud cases in 2021
Manitoba Public Insurance has released its list of top fraud cases in 2021 – Dec 29, 2021

It’s that time of year again.

On Wednesday morning, Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) released their top five auto insurance frauds of 2021.

“MPI releases its annual top five fraud list to raise awareness about the costs related to auto insurance fraud,” said MPI’s Chief Customer Officer, Satvir Jatana, in a release.

“The list is compiled based on the unique circumstances of each fraud, financial savings to MPI ratepayers, and the investigative techniques used in confirming fraudulent activity.”

Click to play video: 'Victims of catalytic converter theft protest added MPI fee on higher mileage cars as thefts surge' Victims of catalytic converter theft protest added MPI fee on higher mileage cars as thefts surge
Victims of catalytic converter theft protest added MPI fee on higher mileage cars as thefts surge – Dec 24, 2021

Landing at the bottom of the list is a Winnipeg woman who committed fraud to protect her significant other.

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The woman put a claim on a car crash where her vehicle swerved onto the yard of a private residence, racking up a great deal of damage for everyone involved.

She told MPI that she was behind the wheel, and swerved because of a dog that ran into the street.

Read more: Victims of catalytic converter theft protest added MPI fee on higher mileage cars as thefts surge

Her claim was debunked after video footage revealed there wasn’t a dog in the road during the time of the crash.

Later, the woman admitted she lied to protect her partner who was driving without a valid licence.

Next in MPI’s ranking is a staged T-bone collision.

After two drivers opened separate collision cases for the alleged accident, a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) investigator went to the intersection mentioned in the report.

Read more: Manitoba Public Insurance says fraud investigations saved $13M this year

The investigator examined surveillance footage that revealed a deliberate crash had unfolded.

When confronted with the evidence, the drivers admitted they pulled the stunt to write-off their vehicles.

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Closing in at number three is a professional trucker who lied about the severity of injuries sustained on the job for insurance payments.

The man claimed he was unable to lift heavy objects and drive longer than 15 minutes, among other things.

MPI received a tip that the man was working while collecting benefits, and opened an investigation.

Read more: Main Street COVID testing site closed for the day after client crashes car into entrance

Surveillance footage of him lifting heavy objects and driving for long stretches of time resulted in the termination of his benefits.

MPI estimates they saved over $700,000.

The runner-up case in MPI’s top five is a 20-year-old driver whose car went careening into half a dozen parked cars.

The driver told MPI that he fell asleep behind the wheel at 55 km/h — slightly over the speed limit.

After looking over physical evidence of the scene and the surveillance footage, MPI determined that the driver’s vehicle was travelling at roughly 140 km/h while racing another car.

Read more: Truck driver who killed Ethan Boyer in crash sentenced in Manitoba courtroom

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A download of the car’s data showed that the brakes weren’t used and seatbelts weren’t buckled in.

The driver’s claim was denied.

MPI’s first place fraudster of 2021 is a woman who spun a tale when her badly damaged vehicle was recovered by Winnipeg police.

The woman told MPI that a group of thieves allegedly reached out to her on Facebook after stealing her car out of the garage, demanding money for its return.

Instead of calling the police, she allegedly went to the meeting spot, where the thieves kidnapped her, then drove around in her car for hours before crashing it.

Read more: 10-vehicle crash on Manitoba road caused by icy conditions, RCMP say

Based on inconsistencies in her story, MPI reviewed the case and found a detail that unravelled her narrative — the car wouldn’t be able to start without its keys, which she had in her possession during the entire incident.

The woman admitted to lying.

According to MPI she and a group of friends were drinking and speeding around the city when they crashed into another car, then fled from the scene.

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Anyone with information about auto insurance fraud is asked to call MPI’s TIPS Line: 204-985-8477 or toll-free 1-877-985-8477.

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