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Money scheme proves costly


A 46-year-old Kingston wife and mother, who got mixed up twice in a variation of the infamous Nigerian money scheme, has been given an 18-month conditional sentence to serve in the community, the first six months of it on house arrest.

Beverly L. Kelly must also repay $6,000 to her victim.

Kelly pleaded guilty in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Justice earlier this year to using a forged cheque and fraud over $5,000.

Her defence lawyer, Peter Kemp, told the judge his client initially got sucked into the con-f idence scam, thinking she’d been hired online by a company in Oakville late last year.

She subsequently received a cheque for $9,789.50, ostensibly from the company that hired her, which she deposited in her account, according to Crown attorney Ross Drummond.

Her bank told her that a seven-day hold would be placed on the cheque but Justice Rommel Masse was told that Kelly, instead of waiting the full seven days to see if the cheque would clear, went to an ATM and withdrew $100, later learning the cheque had bounced.

Her account was already overdrawn in November, 2009, before she deposited the bogus cheque and, as a consequence of her withdrawal, by Dec. 31 she was $123.78 in the red.

Subsequently, the judge was told, she received an e-mail informing her that she’d just won a $1.5 million draw, but the e-mail advised she’d have to pay an advance fee of several thousand dollars to collect her prize.

The on-line scammers, according to Kemp, offered Kelly an easy way to make that payment, sending her a cheque for $33,624.98 which purported to be an advance on her winnings drawn on the account of Loyalty Management Group Canada Inc., in North York, a management consulting company.

She was directed to take the handling fee out of her advance cheque and forward it to an address in London, England in order to collect her full winnings.

The problem was that cheque was as bogus as the first one she’d received and for some rea-s on, Masse was advised, her bank didn’t put the usual seven-day hold on it.
Consequently, Kelly was able to withdraw $6,000.

In doing so, she told various stories about the reason for such a substantial withdrawal, including that the cash was for her son’s dental work following a tobogganing accident, for home repairs and for legal fees, suggesting that she recognized something suspect in her windfall.

Still, she was able to provide documentation to the court, attesting that she did wire at least $4,000 of the cash she withdrew to the London, England address provided to her in the e-mail.

In sentencing her, Masse told Kelly she owes her lawyer “a debt of gratitude” for convincing him and the Crown to go along with a much reduced period of house arrest. His normal practice, he informed her, is to order house arrest for the first two-thirds of a conditional sentence. In her case, it will apply for only the first third of her sentence and the judge also granted exemptions allowing her to drive her husband to and from work every day.

He ordered, additionally, that she’s to begin in December paying back the $6,000 she now owes her bank and set a repayment rate of no less than $200 a month. He also imposed two years of probation to follow Kelly’s conditional sentence to ensure that she’ll have time to repay the entire debt.


October 9, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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