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Posts Tagged "Fake"

10Jun

Too many fake service dogs, with fake licences: B.C. charity

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Jon Woodward, CTV News Vancouver


Published Monday, June 10, 2019 6:38PM PDT


Last Updated Monday, June 10, 2019 6:55PM PDT

Too many incidents of “emotional support dogs” looking like trained service dogs but behaving badly – sometimes even going on the attack – has a B.C. charity issuing a public warning.

The untrained dogs can be a menace and can also give the service dogs that help people with disabilities a bad name, making it harder for their owners to be welcomed in shops and public services, says Laura Watamanuk, the executive director of Pacific Assistance Dogs (PADS_.

It’s so easy to get a vest for a dog that says “service dog” online – even plastic ID that looks comparable to the B.C. government certification – it can be hard to tell the difference between a dog and a glorified pet, she said.

“It is really disheartening when someone goes online and purchases a cape and an ID to get easy access for a personal pet,” said Watamanuk.

“It’s a danger for our clients. We’ve had too many incidents where someone’s dog has attacked our dogs. For someone who is sight impaired, to have an untrained dog in public that jeopardizes their personal safety – it’s unacceptable,” she said.

In May, a man on a flight from Atlanta sued Delta Airlines when he said he was mauled in the face by an “emotional support” chocolate labrador-pointer mix. And in February, the mother of a five-year-old girl who had been bitten in the face by an “emotional support” pit bill in the Portland Airport sued as well.

In 2016, the B.C. government passed a law that required service dogs to pass a test before they could identify themselves as service dogs and be treated like them in public spaces like transit or restaurants.

The dogs are given a card that looks like a B.C. drivers licence that they can present if questioned. Failure to register can result in fines.

The B.C. government has received two complaints a year about false representation of dogs. It couldn’t provide CTV News with any information about how many dogs had been licensed under those rules.

Online retailers appear to be ignoring the rules completely. Amazon.ca sells vests and ID kits that would allow a dog owner to outfit their untrained pet to appear to be a service dog.

And ServiceDogCanada.com offers a kit that shows an ID and purports to help a dog owner train their dog to a standard.

Paul Bowskill, who operates the website, told CTV News Vancouver from Hawaii that he rejects the provincial government’s definition of a service dog. He used the example of a dog that recognizes lower blood sugar in a diabetic – but might not be able to pass all of the B.C. government tests.

“The piece of paper has nothing to do with making a service dog a dog,” he said. “It’s a person’s disability and the help of the dog that qualifies it as a service dog.”

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled against a woman who claimed her son’s pit bull was a service dog and removing it from a strata would compound her son’s disability.

The woman lost her case, but the tribunal was willing to consider the argument that someone with a disability may deserve to keep a pet even if that pet isn’t a certified service dog.

There’s also a supply issue: PADS says it trains about 30 dogs a year, but has heard expressions of interest from over 200 people.

But Watamanuk says it’s worth the wait, pointing to Gucci, a service dog on her way to a deserving owner.

“We ensure they’re not going to be a nuisance in the public. They’re well-behaved. Well-mannered. They’re seen and not heard. We want dogs that are bombproof in the community,” she said.


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4Jun

‘Breathtaking’: Fake mortgage broker case reveals widespread problems | CBC News

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In a real estate market saturated with stories about money laundering, offshore conniving and even murder-related property depreciation — it’s easy for allegations against one unlicensed mortgage broker to get lost in the fray.

After all, British Columbia is used to stunning examples of greed and deception.

But the activity outlined in last week’s cease and desist order against Jay Kanth Chaudhary is something different entirely.

Not just because Chaudhary is accused of using fake financial documents to dupe lenders into giving out half a billion dollars worth of loans. But because an entire network of licensed professionals are being investigated for helping.

And because hundreds of customers were allegedly willing to turn a blind eye if it helped them get a mortgage.

“I guess to me what’s remarkable is the widespread apparent — there’s no word for it really other than ‘corruption’ — of licensed people,” says Ron Usher, a professor of property law at Simon Fraser University.

“To me, that’s a bit breathtaking.”

‘Tune-up to somehow fit new lending rules’

The case is by far the biggest allegation of so-called “shadow brokering” that B.C.’s Financial Institutions Commission has investigated to date.

But it’s by no means the only one in which investigators claim to have peeled back the layers of financing deals to reveal an unregistered puppet master pulling strings to get loans for people who wouldn’t otherwise qualify.

The consumers alleged to have used the services of a shadow broker appear desperate to get into the tight B.C. housing market. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

According to acting registrar of mortgage brokers Chris Carter, Chaudhary collected $6 million in fees from nearly 900 clients in the decade since his licence as a registered mortgage broker lapsed in 2008.

Carter says as many as 20 mortgage brokers and real estate licensees are currently under investigation for their ties to Chaudhary.

The case bears a striking similarity to the allegations against Vinita Devi Lal, an unlicensed woman facing a hearing for allegedly feeding altered tax documents through three licensed mortgage brokers to help secure loans for clients.

Usher, who is general counsel for B.C.’s Society of Notaries Public, says both cases are revealing for what they show about the desperation of people to get into the housing market.

And who is — and is not — able to get money without a little document doctoring.

“I suspect the bulk of this is going to be fraud for shelter,” he says. “People who don’t quite qualify in our tight market, who just need a ”tune-up’ to somehow fit new lending rules.”

Fish filleter, hairdresser, janitor

Usher notes that Blueshore Financial, the credit union that blew the whistle on Chaudhary, says none of the loans in question have resulted in loss or delinquency.

These are customers who are able to make the payments on a mortgage — they’re just not willing to tell the Canada Revenue Agency where most of their money comes from.

One of the people who allegedly used Vinita Lal’s services to obtain a mortgage was a janitor making around $10,000 of declared income a year. (Shutterstock)

The FICOM documents related to Lal included a self-employed fish filleter with an annual salary of $30,000, a self-employed hairdresser making $13,451 a year and a janitor earning $10,881.

All were allegedly able to qualify for mortgages with the help of phony tax documents.

In the Chaudhary case, investigators interviewed a woman and her father whose application for a mortgage was declined after it was submitted by a licensed broker accused of working extensively with Chaudhary.

The woman’s husband was unemployed and on disability.

And yet, numerous applications filled with false or doctored documents were allegedly filed on their behalf in the hopes of securing financing.

So who is to blame?

It’s not the first time regulators have investigated Chaudhary. His licence was suspended for nearly four months in 2008 after an investigation into a string of almost identical allegations.

In that case, FICOM staff received an email from a senior investigator at TD Canada Trust “advising that he had received information from an unidentified source who stated that Chaudhary was committing fraud by paying bank employees secret cash in exchange for deals.”

Both sets of allegations against Vinita Lal and Jay Kanth Chaudhary involve altered taxation documents. (CBC)

So who is to blame?

The would-be homeowners who don’t ask why one fixer can secure a deal for them where no one else could?

The licensed brokers or real estate agents who deliver challenging customers to so-called shadow brokers — if it will help secure a deal?

Bank employees who allegedly take tips for business?

‘A whole lot more conversations’

And what are the consequences?

The maximum fine for shadow-brokering appears to be $50,000. One of the brokers who assisted Lal was banned for 10 years and the other two still face hearings.

Chaudhary could not be reached for comment and a call to his wife went unanswered. He has a right to appeal the cease and desist order. He is not facing any criminal charges.

FICOM says it works with other authorities, and Vancouver police officers accompanied investigators when they obtained an order to enter Chaudhary’s home in February.

But Usher suspects the investigation won’t go beyond the regulator.

“Partly, it falls like many of these kinds of cases into the too hard pile, the priority pile,” he says.

“And so, there are just a whole lot more conversations we need to have.”

At least until the next real estate story comes along.


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25Jan

Fraser Health issues warning over ‘large quantities’ of fake Xanax

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A Xanax tablet: A drug-checking machine in Surrey has detected harmful chemicals that could cause overdose or death.


www.drugs.com

The Fraser Health authority is warning anyone who uses drugs that fake pills are being sold on the street as pharmaceutical Xanax that are tainted with a synthetic opioid and cannabinoid.

Fraser Health said in a public drug alert that it tested pills at the Safepoint supervised consumption site in Surrey and detected the synthetic opioid U-47700 as well as a synthetic cannabinoid. People who use the drug could potentially overdose or die.

“Reports indicate there may be large quantities ready for distribution,” according to Fraser Health.

The harm-reduction website Erowid reports that U-47700 first became available through online vendors in late 2014, and has been detected in counterfeit pharmaceutical opioids and associated with deaths.

Synthetic cannabinoids are a class of chemicals that affect the body in a similar way to cannabinoids found naturally in the cannabis plant, according to Erowid.

The health authority said U-47700 will respond to the overdose-reversing drug naloxone but because U-47700 is not related to fentanyl, people who bring the fake Xanax pills to be checked with fentanyl test strips will get a negative result.

“This may lead them to think their pill is a pharmaceutically made drug and safe to use, which is incorrect,” Fraser Health said.

The health authority is urging people who use drugs to look out for each other. It recommends they not use alone or plan for someone to check on them, stagger use with friends so someone can respond in the case of an overdose, test their drugs by using small amounts first and going slowly, and not mix drugs with alcohol or other drugs.

If someone does overdose, they should call 911, open the person’s airway and give rescue breathing, and administer naloxone if possible.

A Vancouver Coastal Health spokesman said Friday that the fake Xanax pills haven’t been recently reported in the region, but urged people who use drugs to follow the safety protocols noted by Fraser Health.

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23Jan

Fake ‘Dr. Lip Job’ gets suspended sentence for posing as a physician

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Justice Nitya Iyer.


Vancouver Sun

A woman who forged a medical licence so she could buy pharmaceuticals like Botox to then inject into duped customers has been given a 30-day suspended sentence and two years’ probation in B.C. Supreme Court.

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh’s digressions included contempt of court and passing herself off as a doctor so she could inject Botox into facial wrinkles and filler material into lips or other facial areas. Only licensed and trained doctors, dentists, registered nurses (or nurse practitioners) under the supervision of doctors, and naturopaths are allowed to perform such procedures under Health Professions Act regulations and Ministry of Health scopes of practice.

Khakh, who couldn’t be reached for comment, was cited for contempt in March 2018; she signed a consent order at the time prohibiting her from “practising medicine.” But last July, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. learned Khakh was up to her old tricks administering dermal fillers “numerous times at a location in Vancouver.”

The college has been trying to stop Khakh from posing as a doctor for more than three years but each time the college got promises from her to stop, she would continue to do it. For a time, she marketed her services under the Instagram handle “DrLipJob.” She also marketed herself as Dr. Rajii or Dr. R.K., when she injected customers in their homes, cars and other locations.

Although Khakh avoided jail, college spokeswoman Susan Prins expressed satisfaction with the sentence.

“The college … believes that the judge’s reasons will accomplish the task of getting Ms. Khakh to obey and respect court orders in future, and deter other unlicensed practitioners from engaging in unlawful practice. In her comments, Madame Justice (Nitya) Iyer sent a very serious message to Ms. Khakh about breaching consent orders and emphasized the critical public-protection role that regulators fulfil.”

Last November, the college filed a petition with the court in which it sought to have Khakh fined for contempt and/or jailed. Under the current sentence by Iyer, she will have to serve a 30-day jail term if she breaches any of the terms. Khakh must report to a probation supervisor once a week and must also pay a $5,000 fine. Of that amount, $300 is going to go to a former customer who was a witness for the college.

The college first learned of Khakh in 2015 when pharmaceutical companies informed it that she owed $164,000 for products that were advanced on credit. At the time, Khakh was providing services at a spa in Surrey and using a forged medical licence.

“It is certainly the only instance of forging medical credentials to further one’s unlawful practice that I know of,” said the college’s chief legal counsel, Graeme Keirstead.

According to an affidavit filed in court by the college, the forged licence was found on a photocopier at the Clearbrook public library by an employee who notified the college. The name “Dr. Rajdeep Kaur Khakh” was substituted for the original name on the certificate and the expiry date of the licence had been altered.

“Upon review, the document appeared to be a copy of a genuine, but expired, (licence),” Keirstead said, adding that the identification number on the certificate belonged to a practising physician who was registered with the college.

Khakh had previously told a reporter that she went to medical school at the University of Punjab but failed licensing exams.

The college went to great lengths to investigate Khakh, using a security company multiple times for undercover investigations and also going to the spa with a cease-and-desist letter.

The college pursued another similar case, but in that situation a patient got a serious infection after having surgery with a fake doctor in her home-based clinic. A public health warning was issued.

Patients of Khakh’s have complained about their results, but there don’t appear to be any serious adverse events reported.

The college said this in a statement: “Receiving a medical service such as injections from an unlicensed practitioner is risky and has the potential for complications, including reaction to agents, infections or greater harm due to human error. There is no assurance that the practitioner is competent or qualified to provide treatment or that the material and equipment used are safe.”

Prins said unlicensed individuals aren’t accountable to any regulatory body, “which means the public has nowhere to turn if the service or treatment they receive results in complications. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for patients to check the credentials of the health practitioner they are planning to see to ensure they are licensed and registered with a health regulatory authority (college), and that they have the necessary credentials to perform the procedure.”

Physician credentials can be verified by looking at the directory on the college’s website at cpsbc.ca.

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