Man sentenced for fraud
Court hears Langlois targeted elderly for cheque and credit card scams
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