This story has been amended since first posting to add additional information.
A claims adjuster who worked at ICBC in North Vancouver has been charged with defrauding and stealing over $400,000 from the Crown corporation.
Paul Martin Punter, 30, faces four charges – all related to allegations of defrauding and stealing from the insurance company by making cheques drawn on Insurance Corp. of British Columbia accounts over a two-year period, from August 2017 to August 2019.
According to North Vancouver RCMP, police were alerted at the end of August by both ICBC and a financial institution about a series of 156 suspicious transactions involving approximately $420,000.
Those transactions involved cheques created by an insurance adjuster that were deposited into a personal bank account over the span of nearly two years, said Sgt. Peter DeVries, spokesman for the North Vancouver RCMP.
DeVries said an investigation by the RCMP’s economic crime unit followed and Punter was arrested Oct. 1, 2019. He was later released on a promise to appear.
The Crown corporation issued a statement on the case saying, “ICBC has been able to recover the vast majority of funds and we can assure ratepayers they will not be responsible for covering any loss.”
The corporation added it has taken the matter very seriously.
“We took immediate action in notifying police as soon as the situation was uncovered and have been actively working with the RCMP as they investigated,” according to the statement.
Following a bail hearing in North Vancouver provincial court this week, Punter remains free on bail, with conditions that he must turn over his passport and any other travel documents, must not possess any identification documents, cheques or mail in anyone else’s name, and must not possess any cards that contain someone else’s data.
Before seeking employment or volunteering in any capacity that involves dealing with property or money of another person or corporation, Punter must inform them of the charges, under the bail conditions.
Punter is set to make another appearance in court at the end of February.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
A lawyer for Punter did not return a call from the North Shore News.