Motor vehicle salesperson and dealership have registration revoked due to sexual assault and extortion of a customer
- Published On
- December 9, 2022
Toronto, ON, December 9, 2022 – In a written decision released on October 24th, the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT) directed OMVIC to carry out its proposal to revoke the registrations of 2300147 Ontario Inc. o/a Certified Preowned Cars (CPC), a dealership in Etobicoke, and Yaqob Yaqobi, a registered motor vehicle salesperson, under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002 (the Act).
The decision to revoke the registrations of Yaqob Yaqobi and Certified Preowned Cars (CPC) makes it illegal for either party to be in the business of trading and selling motor vehicles to consumers in Ontario. Operating as a used car dealership and a motor vehicle inspection station, under its sole director, Nadia Fariad; CPC has been registered as a dealer since its incorporation in 2012. Yaqobi was the only salesperson employed at the dealership and oversaw its day-to-day operations.
The LAT found that Yaqobi, Fariad, and CPC are interested persons under the Act. Furthermore, despite their appeal of the registrar’s proposal to revoke their registrations, the LAT found their past conduct affords reasonable grounds for belief that neither Yaqobi, nor CPC, will conduct business in accordance with the law, and with honesty and integrity.
The grounds for revoking Yaqobi’s licence include allegations that he sexually assaulted a customer on several occasions and that he did so through acts of extortion over a period of approximately four years. He also failed to provide a written contract and accurate bill of sale and failed to notify the registrar of his criminal charges, even though he was under an obligation to do so.
Though the Tribunal’s records are open to the public, the complainant’s identity was kept confidential in this case to protect the witness. According to the complainant, she first attended CPC in 2015 for a repair and did not return until 2017, when she was in the market to purchase. The salesperson she dealt with at CPC was Yaqobi.
After taking possession of that vehicle in 2017, another in 2019, and one more in 2021, the complainant alleges that Yaqobi insisted she come to the dealership on a regular basis, to make monthly car payments so he could “inspect” her vehicles. On many occasions, Yaqobi would make unwanted sexual comments, advances, and eventually assaults. The complainant said the sexual activity was unwanted by her, but that Yaqobi made it clear that, if she did not comply, he would repossess her vehicle.
The complainant said she felt she had to comply because she needed a vehicle to transport herself and her son with special needs.
By October 2021, the Complainant was no longer willing to tolerate Yaqobi’s behaviour and reported it to the police. The police charged Yaqobi with four counts of sexual assault and three counts of extortion. Though Yaqobi denies all the complainant’s allegations of sexual misconduct, the LAT found the complainant’s evidence to be credible, consistent, and reasonable. Both Yaqobi and Fariad deny these claims; however, the LAT did not find their evidence or version of events to be credible, reasonable, or believable.
In addition to these charges, the LAT found failure to provide a written contract and an inaccurate bill of sale for the vehicles the complainant purchased in 2019 and 2021. According to Yaqobi and Fariad, the complainant requested that the price be misrepresented. The obligation to provide an accurate bill of sale under the Act is that of the dealer and salesperson.
On October 16, 2021, Yaqobi applied for a renewal of his registration as a salesperson under the Act. In his renewal application form, Yaqobi answered “no” when asked whether there were any criminal charges pending against him, and at no time did he advise the registrar that there were charges against him.
It was also found that Fariad’s past conduct affords reasonable grounds that CPC will not carry out business in accordance with the law and with integrity and honesty. She falsified documents by approving an inaccurate Bill of Sale and made false statements in renewal applications from 2015 to 2021. Fariad also sent a series of abusive and offensive texts to the complainant upon learning that her employee, Yaqobi, had been charged with sexual assault and extortion.
In summary, the Tribunal concluded that neither Yaqob Yaqobi, nor CPC, under Fariad’s directorship, would carry on business in accordance with the law and with honesty and integrity. Despite their appeal, the LAT found no basis for this to be an appropriate case for licensure with conditions. The LAT found revoking registration was necessary to protect the public given they accept no responsibility for their actions, and their actions reflect a disregard for the law, and an absence of honesty and integrity.
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 consumer support 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.