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OMVIC Blog: Car Buying Tips

OPP Investigation Leads to Used Vehicle Sales Fraud Charges

Aug 5

Written by: OMVIC Communications
Wednesday, August 5, 2020  RssIcon

OPP logo



As part of OMVIC's mandate to protect consumers and enhance industry professionalism, information related to all dealers and salespeople who have been charged or disciplined for a code of ethics breach is made public. 

We are sharing the Ontario Provincial Police's news release about an ongoing investigation concerning The 4x4 Store in eastern Ontario. 

(ORILLIA, ON)—Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has charged an individual following a lengthy investigation into allegations of fraud. In July 2016, the Lanark County OPP Detachment began receiving a number of fraud complaints from consumers in relation to the purchase of used motor vehicles, automotive warranties and automobile financing, from South Keys Auto Sales. This business was operated as The 4x4 Store, in Carleton Place, Ontario. 

Following an investigation by members of the Lanark County OPP Detachment - Crime Unit, the Anti-Rackets Branch - Ottawa Unit and with the assistance of the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC), the OPP has charged the former business manager / salesperson at The 4x4 store.
David LAMOTHE, 53-years-old, of Drummond / North Elmsley Township, Ontario faces the following criminal charges:
Fraud over $5,000 contrary to section 380(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada (31 counts);
Fraud under $5000 contrary to section 380(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada (three counts); and with
Knowing that a document is forged, cause any person to use, deal with or act on it as if it were genuine contrary to section CC 368(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada (23 counts). 
 
The accused is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Perth on September 28, 2020.
The OPP will not comment further in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and the court process. 
Anyone with information should contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).


Previous Charges

This isn't the first time that South Key Auto Sales operating as the 4x4 store has been in trouble. In 2016, eight of their customers made claims to OMVIC's Motor Vehicle Dealers Compensation Fund. about the dealer's failure to pay out loans and remove liens from trade-ins.The Fund compensated those eight consumers a total of $229,200.  In the same year, OMVIC revoked the licence of The 4x4 Store for failing to conduct business with financial integrity and responsibility. To check whether the business you're planning to buy a car from has faced any administrative actions, charges or complaints, visit OMVIC's Enforcement-Compliance page.



About OMVIC

As the regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, OMVIC’s mandate is to maintain a fair and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers, enhancing industry professionalism and ensuring fair, honest and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers. Visit omvic.ca to learn more about your car-buying rights as well as additional tips for buying a car in Ontario. For car buying tips, check out the OMVIC Academy. You can view other resources such as multilingual videos and download the OMVIC Car-buying Guide.

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