A woman who fraudulently withdrew nearly $ 200,000 from casinos and ATMs in British Columbia and Alberta was unable to convince a judge that she believed she was the mistress of an elusive millionaire.
Jennifer Yvonne Thompson was convicted of seven of eight fraud charges by Judge Gregory Rideout in British Columbia Provincial Court in Abbotford on September 3.
Between November 2015 and March 2016, Thompson received five different Visa credit cards, registered at addresses in Surrey and Langley, which a male accomplice convinced TD Bank to create for her as a secondary user on the accounts of innocent victims.
Thompson then used the credit cards at casinos around Vancouver and New Westminster, Alta., At various ATMs, and at a bureau de change at Vancouver International Airport.
In total, over five months, she withdrew $ 195,058.67, largely amounts of $ 20,000 or more from the casinos.
Thompson, a 29-year-old woman who works at a daycare center, said she was on social assistance during the time the scams took place.
She said at the trial that she decided to make money by signing up on Sugardaddy.com, a website that matches women with wealthier men who offer them freebies in exchange for a relationship. amorous or sexual.
Thompson claimed it led to an eight-month online relationship with a man named “Warren,” allegedly a wealthy married businessman from Alberta, whom she never met in person.
In Thompson’s account, Warren offered to send her money by adding it as a user on her credit card, and she would then make cash advances at casinos to receive money.
“Because he was gambling, so generally his wife didn’t see him as another unusual expense from his credit card,” Thompson told the court over the arrangement.
As of December 2015, Thompson received credit cards from local TD Bank branches.
With her first card, she got a cash advance of $ 19,570 from Edgewater Casino. She played $ 100 at the roulette table and left after losing.
Thompson testified that she had intended to meet with “Warren”, but that he was unable to do so, and he told her to just send him most of the money in the mail, in sending it to a post office box in Alberta.
This pattern continued for several months, with Thompson testifying that she would get a new card, withdraw large amounts of money from casinos, then “Warren” would not show up, and she would send him the bulk of the money. , keeping a few hundred or $ 1,000 to herself.
In January, she toured a series of Edmonton and Calgary casinos, making large cash withdrawals from each. At one point, she had $ 130,000 in cash with her, but she still never met “Warren” in person, instead sending him the money in the mail.
Another credit card enabled her to recover over US $ 43,000 from a currency exchange office at Vancouver International Airport.
She said she was asked to throw away the credit cards after each money-buying spree.
“She could not explain why it was necessary to throw away a Visa card because she had reached her card limit,” the judge wrote in his verdict.
The judge didn’t find much credibility in Thompson’s story that she was an innocent dupe.
“The accused could not retrieve a single email, text or phone recording to corroborate his testimony regarding the nature of his relationship with Warren,” Rideout noted, as the prosecution pointed out.
The judge called parts of Thompson’s testimony “absurd.”
“I find it was not the romance that motivated the accused to go to Alberta,” Rideout wrote. “The driving force was money. it was always a question of money.
Thompson has yet to be convicted.