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'Extraordinary' MPI fraud nets 4 years in jail

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A kingpin behind a massive and complex fraud that saw Manitoba Public Insurance bilked out of $620,000 is headed to prison for four years.

Quincy Adurogboye learned his fate in the Court of Queen's Bench this morning 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.

Justice Chris Martin handed the 34-year-old three years for the fraud counts and a year to be served consecutively for the criminal organization offence.

He also ordered Adurogboye repay $150,000 of the $544,000 in losses still outstanding to the public insurer.

"This fraud is extraordinary," Martin said. "The sole reason for this scam was to make money."

Police and special MPI investigators undertook "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.

Suspects 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.

The potential exposure to loss MPI faced was more than $1 million.

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