Woman’s scams land her in jail for 33 more days

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - SUE YANAGISAWA syanag­i­sawa@post­media.com

A Kingston woman with a heroin ad­dic­tion, who was scam­ming in De­cem­ber through Jan­uary this year with vari­able suc­cess, has been sen­tenced to 33 days in jail on top of the 98 days she’d al­ready spent in pre­trial cus­tody.

Tamara A.M. Bush was told ad­di­tion­ally that she will have to pay back the $200 she cost a friend when she en­tan­gled the woman in one of her schemes.

Bush, 32, pleaded guilty in Kingston’s Ontario Court of Jus­tice to an at­tempt to cash a forged busi­ness cheque; de­fraud­ing a long­time friend by co-opt­ing her empty bank ac­count, us­ing it to con­vert worth­less cheques into cash; tak­ing her mother’s car with­out con­sent; and three re­lated vi­o­la­tions of an 18-month pro­ba­tion or­der she was given last July, in each in­stance by fail­ing to keep the peace.

Jus­tice Al­lan Le­tourneau, in ad­di­tion to im­pos­ing jail, placed Bush on pro­ba­tion for six months fol­low­ing her re­lease, specif­i­cally for the pur­pose of hav­ing her pay the $200 in resti­tu­tion.

Assistant Crown at­tor­ney John Sko­ropada told the judge that Bush tried to cash a forged $575 busi­ness cheque at Cash Money on Dec. 12. The cashier at the 677 Princess St. of­fice was sus­pi­cious, how­ever, and re­fused the trans­ac­tion, call­ing po­lice in­stead.

Bush’s friend wasn’t as lucky. Sko­ropada told Jus­tice Le­tourneau that less a month later, on Jan. 4, the woman found an ex­cess $400 in her bank ac­count.

She con­tacted her bank about it and, the judge was told, an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that some­one — Bush, as it turned out — had been us­ing the woman’s PIN since Christ­mas Day to de­posit $600 in worth­less cheques into the ac­count.

Bush had by then with­drawn only $200 in cash, but it was $200 for which the ac­count holder was li­able.

Her vic­tim later told po­lice that she and Bush have been friends since ado­les­cence and of­ten shopped to­gether. In light of their long his­tory, she said she’d never thought of tak­ing pre­cau­tions to shield her PIN from Bush’s view.

By con­trast, Sko­ropada said Bush’s re­sponse, when con­fronted with her crime, was to call her friend “a rat” and ra­tio­nal­ize that she didn’t rip off the woman for $200, the bank did.

Jus­tice Le­tourneau was told Bush also paid her mother a visit on Jan. 25 while the older woman was sleep­ing.

She was wit­nessed by a rel­a­tive sneak­ing some­thing out of a drawer in­side the house, Sko­ropada told the judge, and when her mother woke up and looked out­side, her car was gone.

It was later re­turned, he said. But when Bush’s mother next saw it, her daugh­ter was oc­cu­py­ing the pas­sen­ger seat and her car was be­ing driven, with­out her per­mis­sion, by a man she’d never seen be­fore.

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