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Car salesperson denied license after sending explicit video, inappropriately messaging customer on Instagram

by HR Law Canada

A car salesperson in Ontario, accused of forwarding a sexually explicit video to a colleague and sending a customer inappropriate messages on Instagram, has had his sales license application refused under the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act.

The registrar stated that based on BV’s actions, he may not operate with integrity or lawfulness, referencing the incidents and BV’s refusal to accept responsibility. BV contested this decision with the Ontario License Appeals Tribunal, which reaffirmed the decision to deny the license outright.

Explicit video sent to colleague

In June 2021, while employed at East-Court Metro Ford Lincoln, BV sent an explicit video and several texts to a former colleague, GP.

After GP filed a complaint, BV lost his job. Though BV argued the video was mistakenly sent and intended for another recipient, the tribunal believed that other actions, such as settling a civil lawsuit with GP, suggested otherwise.

“I find (BV’s) explanation to be unplausible and his evidence to be unreliable and unsupported by other evidence,” the tribunal said.

“Instead of accepting that his conduct was improper and taking concrete action that might provide evidence that this will never happen again, (BV) has made excuses and tried to downplay the seriousness of the conduct.”

Unwanted Instagram messages to customer

Between December 2021 and January 2022, a couple visited Leggat Stouffville Ford, where they encountered BV and agreed to purchase two vehicles.

Subsequent to their visit, the woman began receiving messages from BV on Instagram. While initially about the car sale, the messages became personal, with comments on her photos.

The couple deemed the messages disturbing, particularly given their late-night delivery and personal nature. When confronted, BV blamed alcohol and said he had meant to send them to someone else – a similar excuse to the video incident.

After a complaint to Leggat, BV changed his story, suggesting his Instagram was hacked by a vengeful ex-colleague’s husband. The tribunal, however, found no evidence supporting this claim and highlighted his conflicting explanations.

The tribunal concluded that BV sent the inappropriate messages and demonstrated a lack of integrity, raising concerns about his ethical business conduct.

Final decision

The tribunal sustained the denial of BV’s salesperson registration, pointing to his behavior surrounding both incidents and his dishonesty.

The tribunal remarked that while the registrar might have granted a license with conditions, there was no indication that such conditions would deter future misconduct by BV.

“He has taken no action to provide any assurance that his conduct will not happen again such as engaging in counselling or appropriate education,” it said. “He has suggested no method of supervision, reporting, or some other action which might provide the Tribunal with the assurance that conditions would act to mitigate the risk of misconduct in the future.”

The tribunal decided the best course was to deny BV’s registration outright.

For more information, see Veerasingam v. Registrar, Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002, 2023 CanLII 72666 (ON LAT).

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