Man sen­tenced for fraud

Court hears Lan­glois tar­geted el­derly for cheque and credit card scams

Moose Jaw Times Herald - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH LADIK

A Moose Jaw man has been sen­tenced to two years less a day for a to­tal of 17 of­fences, rang­ing from fraud to shoplift­ing and pos­ses­sion of stolen cheques in Pro­vin­cial Court.

Claude Lan­glois, 50, has pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and theft to­talling just un­der $14,000, most of which took place in last De­cem­ber and Jan­uary. Crown Pros­e­cu­tor Rob Parker told the court on Thurs­day the crimes were of par­tic­u­lar con­cern be­cause at least four of them in­volved Lan­glois tar­get­ing el­derly peo­ple in care homes.

The court heard that Lan­glois had ap­proached at least two res­i­dents in re­tire­ment homes, fab­ri­cat­ing sto­ries about a bro­ken-down ve­hi­cle or a con­nec­tion to the vic­tim’s fam­ily. He then asked for money in ex­change for a forged cheque.

Lan­glois also pleaded guilty to steal­ing bat­ter­ies from Wal­mart in Regina, us­ing a stolen credit card, pos­sess­ing cheques be­long­ing to some­one else, shoplift­ing, and con­vinc­ing an­other per­son to cash stolen cheques.

“The sin­gle most ag­gra­vat­ing fac­tor here is Mr. Lan­glois’ crim­i­nal record,” Parker told the court. “He has been do­ing this kind of thing non-stop for close to 20 years.”

De­fence at­tor­ney Suzanne Jean­son ar­gued that her client’s ac­tions had been mo­ti­vated by his ad­dic­tion to drugs, and that while in re­mand, he had sought out as much coun­selling as was pos­si­ble, namely the ser­vices of a chap­lain. Other pro­gram­ming and of­fi­cial ad­dic­tions coun­selling is only avail­able to sen­tenced in­mates. She said that when not us­ing drugs, Lan­glois was very em­ploy­able and had work wait­ing for him in the White City area when he got out.

While the Crown asked for a 30month sen­tence, Jean­son sought a 20month term.

Judge Daryl Rayner split the dif­fer­ence with 729 days, which af­ter credit for re­mand time, leaves Lan­glois with 471 days to serve go­ing for­ward. He said the global sen­tence was not meant to de­tract from the sever­ity of any of the crimes, but that the of­fences in­volv­ing el­derly vic­tims were more sig­nif­i­cant than things like shopli­fit­ing and fail­ing to ap­pear for court.

Fur­ther­more, Lan­glois will serve a year of pro­ba­tion when he is re­leased from cus­tody, with the added con­di­tion of be­ing pro­hib­ited from at­tend­ing premises where the pri­mary pur­pose is the res­i­dency or care of el­derly peo­ple.

Lan­glois him­self chose not to make a state­ment at his sentencing hear­ing, only say­ing that his lawyer had “done in­cred­i­bly” and that she had said all there was to say.

He has been do­ing this kind of thing non-stop for close to 20 years. Rob Parker, Crown Pros­e­cu­tor

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