Repeat Offender Sentenced to 50 Days Behind Bars for Illegal Vehicle Sales
Monday, February 13, 2017
Andre N. Campbell has been sentenced to 50 days in jail
for illegal vehicle sales. The Mississauga man was charged by OMVIC, Ontario’s vehicle sales regulator, with acting as a dealer without registration (curbsiding) and selling five vehicles between 2012 and 2014. “Each vehicle was a rebuilt write-off,” stated Tom Girling, OMVIC’s Director of Investigations. “The purchasers, who found the vehicles advertised online, were unaware of the true history of the vehicles.”
“Retail vehicle sales is a regulated industry in Ontario and all dealers and salespeople must be registered with OMVIC,” explained OMVIC’s Director of Communications and Education, Terry O’Keefe. “These regulations exist to protect consumers and require registered dealers to disclose all pertinent information about a vehicle’s past-use, history and condition and to include all fees in advertised prices.” Curbsiders – illegal, unlicensed dealers – flout these laws. Often they pose as private sellers; and just as curbsiders commonly misrepresent themselves, they often misrepresent the vehicles they sell; many are previous write-offs or have undisclosed accident repairs. This has been Campbell’s MO for years.
In 2013 Campbell was sentenced to 32 days in jail for the sale of 16 vehicles, many with undisclosed accident repairs including one to a driving school instructor who told Campbell the vehicle was to be used by his students. Campbell was also convicted of curbsiding in 2004 and 2001.
In a letter submitted to the court Campbell acknowledged his actions were “stubborn” and “immature.” However, in handing down his sentence Justice of the Peace Anthony Amenta found Campbell displayed a disregard for the law and showed little remorse for his repeated offences.
“This sentence should send a message to curbsiders,” stated Girling. “It demonstrates the seriousness of this offence and makes it clear that both the courts and OMVIC recognize the dangers these illegal vehicle sellers pose to Ontario consumers.”
The Motor Vehicle Dealers Act requires all vehicle dealers and salespeople be registered with OMVIC. Curbsiders are illegal, unlicensed vehicle dealers who commonly pose as private sellers, though some operate from 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 previous write-offs with undisclosed accident repairs or are odometer-tampered.
Research conducted by OMVIC found 25% of online “for sale by owner” vehicle ads are placed by curbsiders. If a consumer is unsure whether or not a business selling vehicles is registered, they should conduct a search on OMVIC’s website, or ask to see the seller’s OMVIC licence. If they are unable to produce one, walk away!
How to Spot a Curbsider
Curbsiders often use one or more of the following tactics to dupe car-buyers:
- Vehicle is not registered to the seller or has only been registered to seller for a short period
- Vehicle is priced below market value
- Doesn’t provide the mandatory Used Vehicle Information Package (UVIP), or provides a UVIP that has been tampered with (e.g. lien or mileage information removed, or pages missing)
- Doesn’t provide a vehicle history report (CarProof); or information/pages are missing
- Refuses inspection by the purchaser’s mechanic
- Vehicle is often not plated and/or uninsured; therefore a test drive is not possible
- Doesn’t provide a receipt or proof of purchase
To report a suspected curbsider, call 1-888-NO-CURBS (662-8727) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016, 32 individuals/businesses were convicted for curbsiding; 55 additional cases are currently before the courts.
Visit OMVIC’s website to view a list of recent curbsider convictions.
OMVIC Protects Car Buyers in Ontario
As the regulator of motor vehicle sales in Ontario, OMVIC protects consumers and maintains a fair and informed marketplace by:
- Maintaining strict registration requirements for Ontario’s dealerships and salespeople
- Regularly inspecting all Ontario dealers (new and used)
- Providing free conciliation services to consumers
- Developing/delivering consumer and dealer education/awareness programs
- Investigating and prosecuting industry non-compliance and illegal sales (curbsiding)
Connect with OMVIC on social media!
Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council
Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council