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Crown seeking 7-year prison term for ringleader of MPI fraud

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Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison term for a Winnipeg man they say was one of the leading operators of a complex fraud scheme that bilked Manitoba Public Insurance of more than $620,000.

Quincy Adurogboye, 33, appeared for sentencing in the Court of Queen's Bench today after previously pleading guilty to eight counts of fraud over $5,000 and commission of fraud for the benefit of a criminal organization. He has no prior record.

Adurogboye is the brother of Lamont Sesay, who pleaded guilty to the same charges and will be sentenced next year.

"This is the most significant and unprecedented amount of fraud in this province's history vis-à-vis MPI," Crown attorney Sheila Leinburd told Justice Chris Martin.

Police began "Project Rollback" in 2005 after learning dozens of used cars with hefty mileage were being purchased in Ontario for cheap, brought to Manitoba and altered to reflect greatly reduced odometer readings, which increased their value.

The accused would then make phony "sales" to each other, insure the vehicles at the increased price and then stage accidents and thefts in order to cash in through the claims process.

Forty-seven suspects were identified at the time the investigation wrapped in 2009, court was told. Only a handful remain before the courts, as the rest have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. More than $60,000 in restitution has previously been ordered by the courts.

Leinburd said more than $544,000 in restitution remains outstanding to be paid. She's seeking the court order Adurogboye pay in the range of $73,000 to $621,000.

The Crown is also seeking Norman Beardy, another person accused in the case being sentenced Monday, serve a sentence of two years for three counts of fraud over $5,000.

The Crown is opposed to the idea he be allowed to serve the term under house arrest by way of a conditional sentence.

 

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