(Photo: Peel Regional Police)
A Peel cop is spending the next five years behind bars.
Const. Carlton Watson was sentenced in Brampton court Monday by Justice John Sproat.
The five-year term comes following a conviction on 42 fraud, obstruction, and breach of trust charges last February.
Watson was found guilty of staging car crashes relating to nine insurance claims dating back to 2010, bilking insurance companies out of more than $1 million in indemnity payments and investigative and legal expenses.
Watson was initially arrested in 2011 and charged with 45 counts of fraud, obstructing justice and breach of trust.
The 23-year veteran is now suspended without pay, and Police Chief Jennifer Evans will be seeking his dismissal.
“I want to assure the community that I take allegations of misconduct very seriously and hold officers accountable for their actions,” Evans said in a statement Monday.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada teamed up with investigators on the case and is applauding the court for sending what it calls a clear message.
“Staged collisions sometimes draw innocent drivers into dangerous situations that put their safety and security in jeopardy,” said IBC vice-president of investigative services Rick Dubin in a statement.
“We are encouraged to see the courts strike hard at the core of this practice. One day, hopefully, we will eliminate it.”
- 21 counts of fraud over $5,000
- 9 counts of breach of trust public officer
- 9 counts of utter forged documents
- 3 counts of obstruct justice
(Source: Insurance Bureau of Canada)