Toronto ON, August 29, 2014
– The Ontario Court of Justice has reaffirmed the decision of a lower court that Andre Nicholas Campbell, 40, of Mississauga must go to jail for acting as a motor vehicle dealer without benefit of registration (curbsiding), contrary to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 1990.
Campbell was originally sentenced to 32 days (to be served intermittently on weekends) in January 2013. He subsequently appealed his conviction and sentence to the Ontario Court of Justice. In upholding the conviction and sentence, Justice S.R. Shamai stated that Campbell had shown a lengthy pattern of misrepresentation and she agreed with Justice of the Peace Delano Europa’s reasons for ordering incarceration. She further stated that she considered the 32-day jail sentence originally ordered by the Provincial Offences Court to be lenient, and the justification for serving it intermittently was not founded. Justice Shamai therefore ordered Campbell into custody immediately with no provision for serving his sentence on weekends.
“This sentence sends an important message to curbsiders” stated OMVIC Director of Investigations, Carey Smith. “The retail automotive industry is regulated in Ontario; these regulations exist to create a fair and informed marketplace and to ensure that persons acting as dealers meet the requirements set out by law.”
The charges against Campbell date back to 2006 when OMVIC Investigators found he routinely sold vehicles as a matter of business while posing as a private individual selling a personal vehicle. Evidence presented at sentencing showed Campbell had been convicted twice previously for curbsiding: in 2001 and 2004. The fines imposed for those convictions were not paid. The courts agreed with the prosecution’s submission that incarceration was warranted in light of Campbell’s failure to pay past fines and the aggravating factor that many of the vehicles Campbell sold were previously accident damaged or written-off. This was not disclosed to the vehicle buyers, one of whom was a driver’s education instructor who told Campbell the vehicle would be used by his students.
Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers who commonly pose as private sellers, though some may operate out of automotive related businesses such as gas stations, repair shops or rental companies. Just as curbsiders commonly misrepresent themselves, they often misrepresent the vehicles they sell; many are accident-damaged, rebuilt write-offs, odometer-tampered; even stolen.
In spite of OMVIC’s significant enforcement efforts, curbsiding continues to be a problem in Ontario. While curbsiders historically targeted buyers of inexpensive economy vehicles, consumers are warned that there has been a recent shift towards the sale of newer mid-to-high priced vehicles.
To learn more about curbsiders and how to spot them, and for a list of curbsider convictions, visit omvic.on.ca.
OMVIC (Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council) administers and enforces the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act (MVDA) on behalf of the
Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. OMVIC maintains a fair and informed vehicle sales marketplace by regulating dealers and salespersons, regularly inspecting Ontario's 8,000 dealerships and 25,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions of industry misconduct and illegal sales (curbsiding). OMVIC is also responsible for administering the Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund on behalf of its
Board of Trustees.
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