They say cheaters never prosper.
Here's a good example why.
A Surrey couple who lied to ICBC in an attempt to avoid paying $801 in deductible and increased premium costs related to a Newton traffic crash are now on the hook for more than $200,000 after their deceit was exposed.
Amarjeet Panag was driving her kids home from Khalsa School in Newton in 2006 when she crashed her husband Bahadur Panag's Malibu into a Dodge van at 72nd Avenue and 130th Street. It was a serious collision, causing significant injury and damage.
The court heard that Mr. Panag talked a friend, Harinder Grewal, into fraudulently passing himself off as an independent witness to the collision, in their favour. But ICBC sussed this out.
After finding Mrs. Panag entirely liable for the crash, ICBC concluded that she and her husband were guilty of fraud and, because of that, their own car insurance coverage was forfeit.
The insurance corporation determined the Panags were liable for the $188,772.86 it paid out in claims related to the crash and went after them in court.
A trial was held in B.C Supreme Court in Vancouver and Justice Christopher Grauer found in ICBC's favour.
"Both Mr. and Mrs. Panag participated in a conspiracy to deceive ICBC about how the accident happened and the status of Mr. Grewal as a witness to the accident," Grauer determined. "I am satisfied that the Panags and Harinder Grewal were in fact involved in a conspiracy to put forward Mr. Grewal to ICBC as a witness to the collision knowing that he had in fact not witnessed it, and with the intention that he provide ICBC with evidence that he did not have and which they knew to be untrue."
Grauer ordered the couple to pay ICBC $188,722.86 plus interest and also ordered the Panags to pay an additional $10,000 each in punitive damages.
"Had they succeeded in their deception, they would have saved a mere $801 plus whatever might have been gained through a potential personal injury claim," Grauer observed. "Now they must pay over $188,000 plus interest."
Grauer noted that the Panags own lawyer had argued in court that it's "not rational" Mr. Panag would have participated in such a fraud, given that he was Roadstar insured "and that the deception, if successful, would have saved him no more than a deductible of $300 and increased premiums of $501 over seven years."
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