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Hit-and-run driver fined for ICBC fraud

The man who devastated a Richmond woman’s life during a tragic 2005 hit-and-run crash, must pay more than $100,000 in damages for his part in a fraud scheme that targeted ICBC.

Surrey’s Jagjit Singh Gill was found jointly and severally liable along with Vikram Atwal for $68,730.67 for his part in a conspiracy involving expensive SUVs and pick-up trucks that were reported stolen and fraudulently re-registered in B.C.

He was also ordered to pay punitive damages of $50,000, “to accomplish the objectives of rehabilitation, deterrence and denunciation,” B.C. Supreme Court Justice  Austin F. Cullen wrote.

“In my view, both the defendant (Jasraj Singh) Bains and the defendant Jagjit Gill were significantly involved in the scheme by which the plaintiff and the motoring public were defrauded of substantial sums of money. The plaintiff and the public, through the police, were compelled to make significant expenditures in time, effort, and money to investigate and recover the vehicles wrongly taken in these cases.”

In December of 2005, Gill was behind the wheel of a Dodge Ram Supercab pick-up truck when it crossed the centre line and struck head-on a small sports utility vehicle being driven by Richmond’s Stacy Hamilton.

Hamilton permanently lost her senses of smell and taste, and has undergone countless surgeries to deal with her devastating facial and head injuries.

Gill was found guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and failing to remain at the scene of the accident, which occurred near No. 4 Road and Blundell. He was sentenced to a total of 30 months in prison.

In sentencing Gill to prison, Richmond provincial court Judge Jane McKinnon wrote in her judgement: “There is nothing to indicate that Mr. Gill has changed in any way or that he has come to grips with the dynamics that led him to drive dangerous and particularly to fail to remain at the scene of the accident...The risk of his re-offending carries with it serious harm to the community, and the damage caused would be great.”

Gill initially denied any involvement in the crash, and even convinced his then-wife, Joan Dhillon-Gill, to report their truck had been stolen.

After a lengthy investigation, police finally used DNA evidence obtained from the airbag of the Dodge pick-up to prove that Gill was behind the wheel at the time of the crash.

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