Mississauga contractor sentenced to a year in prison for stealing customer identity

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A contractor based out of Mississauga, has been sentenced to more than year in prison after stealing a customer’s identity and going on a spending spree at various Peterborough stores.

Michael Cambell, 47  was given his sentence of more than a year in prison on Wednesday in Kingston. He was found guilty of stealing a Kingston woman’s identity to grab up more than $40,000 in merchandise last summer in just four days.

Campbell, pleaded not guilty in early July to three counts of defrauding businesses, each of more than $5,000; illegally possessing the data of the Kingston woman who had complained to Kingston Police; fraudulently personating her; and violating a bail recognizance and a release undertaking, both of which forbid him possessing credit or debit cards or other financial instruments not his own.

Justice Allan Letourneau gave him enhanced credit on 95 days of pretrial custody and sentenced Campbell to a further 397 days in jail — 13 months and seven days — to be followed by 18 months of probation, during which time he’s again forbidden to possess credit or debit cards or any other financial instrument not in his own name. Free-standing restitution orders totalling $44,275.94 were also issued against him, although both the judge and the Crown prosecutor expressed doubts the money will ever be paid.

The key piece of prosecution evidence at his trial consisted of video surveillance footage from the victimized stores, which captured the culprit in action, but not his face.

After a long deliberation, however, Justice Letourneau decided in late September that the identification evidence was compelling enough to find Campbell guilty on all seven counts.

The frauds were actually discovered after the Kingston identity theft victim received a letter from Canada Post telling her that her east-side Kingston mailing address had been changed to one in the suburban Toronto district of North York.

She also began to receive receipts for credit accounts at Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Peoples Jewellers.

She had not changed her address or signed up for any of those accounts, and on July 20 when she contacted Kingston Police, she reported that someone had used her information to open credit accounts in her name not only with the stores that had sent her receipts, but also with Amazon.ca, Saks Fifth Avenue and Capitol One.

Crown attorney Greg Skerkowski told Letourneau on Tuesday that police still don’t know how the scammer got his hands on the victim’s personal information.

Read the full story over at the Peterborough Examiner.

This story was summarized by Canadian Fraud News Inc.