DriveTest employees charged with fraud
Published Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:03PM EDT
Two employees who work with DriveTest Ontario are among four people facing charges of fraud after Toronto police uncovered hundreds of false identities were being distributed.
Police say people were able to receive Ontario Driver's Licenses with false names printed on them. More than 160 pieces of false identification were then used to gain credit and to obtain other official government documentation.
Investigators also allege that 140 additional "suspicious" identification cards were used to circumvent court orders pertaining to impaired driving charges and conditions of the Family Responsibility Act.
Each false identity has a street value of $5,000, authorities say.
"When you present your valid Ontario driver's licence, effectively, Bob's your uncle when it comes to accessing any number of services or opportunities financially," Const. Mike Kelly of Toronto Police told CTV Toronto on Wednesday.
Creative criminals can use the licences to obtain individual bank loans, create businesses, register vehicles and make insurance claims, he said.
Two clerks at a DriveTest branch in Orangeville were allegedly in on the scam. Authorities claim they would hand out up to nine valid driver's licences.
However, an alert bank teller at a Bloor Street branch noticed something wasn't right and contacted police.
After a three-month probe termed Project Mouse, Toronto police arrested four people and laid 14 charges in relation to the fraud investigation.
The charges include:
- breach of trust by public officer
- fraud over $5,000
- conspiracy to commit indictable offence
- possession of property obtained by crime
Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Transportation Minister Jim Bradley said the government has plans to make it much more difficult for fraudsters.
"In the future, we will be implementing -- as we have indicated already -- photo comparison technology, which will make it much more difficult for people to provide any kind of false identification to people," he said.
Employees with Drive Test Ontario have been on strike since Aug. 21. The centres are responsible for issuing driver's licences and scheduling road tests for new drivers.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney