Former BC broker sentenced to jail for stealing ICBC payments

Over $76,000 stolen to support personal gambling habit.

A former Richmond, BC, broker that collected Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) payments from clients and used the money to support his gambling habit has been sentenced to jail.

The Insurance Council of BC decision dated November 2009 found that Ka Chun Chan attempted to conceal his activities from ICBC and his clients by using personal cheques, which he made payable to ICBC to offset the premiums he had taken. Chan altered the cheques to make others believe his clients had issued them. However, when the cheques bounced, it resulted in cancellation of coverage and his clients confronted him. Chan lied about the circumstances that led to the cancellation, but by then his scheme had fallen apart. When Chan met with Council staff he didn’t dispute the allegations.

Further investigation continued to determine the extent of misconduct, and authorities found Chan had stolen over $76,000 from dozens of customers, many of whom spoke little or no English.

Last week, a BC provincial court judge sentenced Chan to one year in jail for 19 counts of fraud, 4 counts of theft and 1 count of uttering a forged document.

“The Code of Conduct of the Insurance Council of BC is clear on the requirements placed on licensees to act in their clients’ best interests and to hold the clients’ interests paramount,” said Trudy Lancelyn of Insurance Brokers Association of BC (IBABC). “The instances in which licensees don’t meet these requirements are extremely rare, and are made public.”

IBABC added consumers, including those who prefer to have an insurance transaction in a language other than English, should be confident that the regulations are working to protect their interests, and that the vast majority of BC’s more than 12,000 licensees, who handle millions of insurance transactions per year, take their fiduciary position of trust very seriously and act with good faith and integrity.

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