Calgary (January 7, 2020) – The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta certified the class action lawsuit against the car consignment company Treadz Auto and its owner Sean Patrick O’Brien on December 20, 2019. The civil lawsuit alleges that O’Brien defrauded dozens of vehicle owners out of more than $2 million. He did not pay his clients whose cars had been sold on consignment. In 2018, O’Brien has been sentenced in a criminal trial to three years in prison in connection with his fraudulent vehicle consignment company.
‘[T]he Action against the Treadz Defendants [Treadz Auto Group Inc., Sean O’Brien] is certified as a class proceeding,’ proclaimed Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Justice Glenda Campbell on December 20, 2019. Two former clients of Treadz Auto Group filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons who entered into a consumer transaction with the car consignment company and suffered loss or damage from 2011 to the date of certification.
Class action lawsuit against Treadz Auto Group certified, but action against Service Alberta and AMVIC dismissed
The lawsuit alleges that the owner of Treadz Auto, Sean O’Brien, did not pay out his clients when their cars have been sold which were brought in on consignment between 2011 and 2014. Furthermore, the lawsuit accuses O’Brien of not removing liens from the vehicles. He ‘failed to respond to the action and ha[s] been noted in default,’ noted Justice Campbell.
Besides, Treadz Auto Group and O’Brien, the lawsuit also accused the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC) and Service Alberta of neglecting their ‘respective regulatory duties’. Justice Campbell dismissed the action against the two public bodies while explaining that ‘there is no merit to the allegations that Service Alberta and AMVIC are liable for regulatory negligence to the Plaintiffs and the Proposed Class.’
O’Brien’s fraudulent business with used-cars
The fraudulent car salesmen conned dozens of vehicle owners out of more than $2 million. Treadz Auto Group operated between 2004 and 2014. Despite AMVIC had known that O’Brien had a criminal record from the 1990s for stealing cars, he still received his license to sell cars in 2004. AMVIC received most of the customer complaints in 2014, which was also the year O’Brien’s license to sell cars was canceled by the watchdog.
On October 12, 2018, O’Brien already has been sentenced to three years in prison in a criminal trial in connection to his fraudulent vehicle consignment company. Initially, the business owner was facing 164 fraud and theft charges, but most of the criminal charges were stayed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud over $5,000.
Since the class action lawsuit now has been certified, a trial date will be set and O’Brien will have to face his defrauded costumers in a civil trial.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.