SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2016 QCCQ 6803 Ms. C, a 32-year-old mother of two, pled guilty to the trafficking of a forged document, the use of forged documents, the use of a badge to falsely represent one’s self as a peace officer, fraud under 5000$, fraud over 5000$, kidnapping, obstruction of justice, identity fraud, forgery, and failure to comply with condition of undertaking. She also pled guilty to charges related to her using false documents and a false identity in regard to residential leas-es, for which she is in arrears.
Ms. C used Facebook, email, and a French dating website (Réseau Contact), to connect with three different men, Mr. D, Mr. J, and Mr. A. One had immediately rejected her romantic advances, one went on a date with her prior to rejecting her, and one had a long-term online romantic relationship with her, respectively. Ms. C’s fraudulent behaviour towards these men was factually similar in all three cases.
Ms. C used photos of another person on her dating profile to gain contact with men. Upon establishing contact with the men, she would then send two actors who were impersonating police officers to the men’s homes with a fraudulent arrest warrant, accusing them of criminally sexual behaviour. Who was accusing them of this behaviour was not clear. The actors were hired under the guise they were participating in an acting contest where they may win a free vacation and were instructed to stay in character during their “performance”. Once the men she had met on the dating site believed they had been charged with criminally sexual behavIour, either Ms. C or another person would pretend to be a lawyer and offer legal support to the men who had been “charged”. Because she used a false photographs on her dating profile and did not meet all of the men in person, she was able to pretend to be the lawyer herself in some situations. For the men who had met her in person, namely Mr. J, she had another per-son pretend to be the lawyer. The “lawyer” would then tell the men she had made a deal with the police, in which the men could stay out of jail until trial if they paid a fee to the police and agreed to live with Ms. C in her home and under her supervision until trial. One of the men was suspicious of the situation and contacted the police. When confronted, Ms. C claimed to be filming an American television show and was obliged to do what she did under her contractual obligations with the show. She had forged police documents that alleged to give her permission to conduct this unusual behaviour. In the cases where the men did not suspect they were caught in a ruse, namely Mr. A, she would eventually tell the men that their lawyer had negotiated an acquittal and told them they would receive financial compensation from the government due to the charges. To convince the men that this negotiation was going on, she included them in false email chains between their “lawyer”, the individual men, and other members of the justice system, who she was impersonating. She would use false bank accounts, cheques, and wire transfers to further belief of payment.
All three men eventually realized they were being duped when a third party identified that the situation was unusual. All three men contacted the police. Mr. A was convinced the longest. He had an online romantic relationship with Ms. C, and lived with her for months believing she was his lawyer, the cousin of the woman he was dating online. His relationship with her caused him emotional distress, trauma, and suicidal ideations. Mr. J also experienced severe emotional trauma but over a much shorter amount of time.
Criminal Offence(s): Identity Fraud