June 15, 2021 - Toronto man’s illegal side business targeted Uber and Lyft drivers, loses bid to resume auto sales career
Toronto, ON, June 15, 2021 – A provincial tribunal blocked a Toronto man’s bid to restart his automotive sales career after he used forged documents, bought cars written off by insurance companies, and leased them to unsuspecting Uber and Lyft drivers.
In a June ruling, Ontario’s Licence Appeal Tribunal upheld OMVIC’s denial of Sai Lu’s bid to re-enter the profession after his activity as a registered salesperson was marred by illegal dealings between 2016 and 2019. Lu last worked as a registered salesperson in early 2019. While he received no complaints at the dealership where he was employed, off-duty dealings led to the tribunal’s decision.
Lu set up his own company in 2016 as an illegal, unlicensed dealer. His business bought cars from salvage auctions, most written off as total losses by insurers after accidents.
Though these auctions are closed to the public, Lu falsely portrayed his business as a licensed OMVIC dealer, using doctored documents to support the claim. Lu also submitted falsified insurance documents to the Ministry of Transportation.
After acquiring at least 10 cars through this process, Lu listed them on Kijiji and other websites, leasing them out to prospective Uber or Lyft drivers. Most were sold to other buyers after their leases expired.
Two witnesses who leased cars from Lu told the tribunal the cars’ history was not disclosed. A third witness testified they bought a car from Lu for $5,000, only to have it suffer problems a few days later. This third witness was not told the car was a write-off and suffered $11,000 worth of accident damage.
“Ontarians have the right to expect integrity, honesty, accountability and lawful conduct when they meet with a registered salesperson. That expectation does not end at the conclusion of the business day,” said John Carmichael, OMVIC’s CEO and registrar. “The tribunal agreed Mr. Lu’s off-duty dealings fit the definition of curbsiding, and that OMVIC’s decision to deny his return to auto sales was justified.”
In November 2018, Lu tried to register his business as a dealer with OMVIC but was denied after an investigation found several documents he submitted were also forged. Lu’s business was fined $3,500 in court the following summer. He was handed a suspended sentence.
Lu left his day job in early 2019, which meant his OMVIC salesperson registration also lapsed. When he attempted to re-register shortly afterwards to find work at another dealership, OMVIC denied this application too, leading him to launch an appeal ending with the tribunal’s decision.
Lu continues to face charges under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act about curbsiding and using falsified documents. The tribunal’s full decision can be found in the Enforcement/Compliance section of OMVIC’s website.
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 30,000 salespeople, maintaining a complaint line for consumers and conducting investigations and prosecutions (or discipline proceedings) 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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