< Glassco, Refugee, Given a Soft Sentence in a “Black Money” Scam

Eugene Glassco, Liberian Refugee, Given a Soft Sentence in a “Black Money” Scam

Breaking Cases from Canadian Courts

At Canadian Fraud News, we report on decisions issued by Canadian Courts related to fraud, that are not reported in the main stream media, and that contain legal issues the Canadian public and fraud recovery experts should be aware of. The following is one such story.

On February 27, 2017, the British Columbia Provincial Court of Justice released its decision in the “black money” scam of Eugene Glassco. It took until 2018 for the Courts to publish the decision. This case emphasizes the result of inadequate sentencing for fraud and Canada’s weak immigration system.

Eugene Glassco currently had, prior to this article, no status on a google search. Hopefully, this article will protect others from becoming his victim, as it seems the Canadian Courts have limited ability to the public from this alleged refugee. The facts, as set out by the Court, are as follows:

The Black Money Scam

On November 17, 2016, Eugene Glassco was found guilty by Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland of Fraud Over $5,000. As is common with Canada’s Justice System, the decision was not reported on Canada’s legal search engines. Nor was Eugene Glassco’s prior fraud conviction or sentencing, leaving the public in Canada at risk to the dishonest conduct of this alleged refugee. Thankfully, the sentencing reasons in this latest conviction were published, albeit a year late.

The conviction arises from Mr. Glassco’s involvement in what is commonly referred to in Canada and the United States as a “black money” scam. As the Court told the story, Mr. Glassco, together with another man, an alleged Mr. Neslon, approached the victim, Mr. Dong, in November 2013 at Mr. Dong’s store that he owned at the Guildford Mall.

Mr. Glassco introduced himself by the name “Goodwin”, and together with the other man, who was introduced as “Nelson”, offered to buy Mr. Dong’s whole stock to sell in Africa. Mr. Glassco, in the course of that discussion and discussions that followed, was clearly the leader of the two in terms of perpetrating this fraud, and it was Mr. Glassco who, according to Mr. Dong, did all the talking over the course of the approximately three weeks that the scam was perpetrated.

Mr. Glassco told Mr. Dong that he wanted to pay for his products in cash, but that the cash he had was unusable as it had been covered with a black coating as a safety precaution against theft in Africa where Mr. Glassco, as Goodwin, claimed he was from.

Although this story should have sent up flags of caution with Mr. Dong, one should never blame a victim for his naivety. Rather, Canadian Courts should only focus on fraudster dishonesty.

Mr. Glassco then informed Mr. Dong that the procedure for removing the black coating required real, uncoated dollar bills to be put against the black-coated money while a special chemical was applied. Mr. Glassco and his associate, known as Nelson, then demonstrated this procedure for Mr. Dong with small amounts of money on two occasions.

Following these demonstrations, Mr. Glassco persuaded Mr. Dong to withdraw $65,000 from his bank accounts. In a storage room at Mr. Dong’s store, Mr. Glassco and Nelson mixed these bills with a number of apparently black-coated dollar bills and applied a chemical, and then put the bills in a portable safe for which Nelson and Mr. Glassco jointly retained the only key.

On the evening of that same day, Mr. Dong drove from his store to his home in Surrey with his wife, Mr. Glassco, Nelson, and the safe. In Mr. Dong’s basement the safe was opened and Mr. Glassco appeared to make an attempt at pouring a chemical on some of the money to facilitate the removal of the coating, but then announced that the chemical was defective.

The following day, Mr. Glassco told Mr. Dong that he had found a company which could sell them the chemical that would remove the coating on the money. He brought a small bottle of what he claimed was the chemical and the two men, Mr. Glassco and Nelson, opened the safe and applied the chemical to a single, black-coated bill, removing the coating.

Mr. Glassco then informed Mr. Dong that he required a further $120,000 to purchase the chemical. Mr. Dong refused, and over the course of several conversations with Mr. Glassco, Mr. Glassco proposed lower amounts. Mr. Dong became suspicious, hired a locksmith to open the safe which was still in Mr. Dong’s house, and discovered packages of construction paper in the shape of dollar bills in place of the $65,000 that had been stored in the safe.

Mr. Dong called the police and subsequently met with Mr. Glassco one more time at his store. After speaking with Mr. Dong, Mr. Glassco fled the store. He was subsequently apprehended and arrested but the money was never recovered.

The Effect of Fraud on its Victims

The incident had a profound effect on Mr. Dong and his wife, Ms. Zheng. A victim impact statement was filed with the court. Mr. Dong described the incident as heartbreaking. His wife has suffered, as has had significant mental and emotional trauma, as well as physical distress.

Mr. Dong’s wife had to travel back and forth to China to stay with family members in order to feel safe and to assist in her reconciling the psychological trauma that she has endured and that she is grappling with. For the past year-and-a-half, apparently, she has been unable to work on a regular basis.

Economically, Mr. Dong reported that they now have no money to maintain their everyday lifestyle and they had to borrow money from a financial institution at significant interest rates. They sold their house for economic and safety reasons and they moved to another city. He described the hurt as being so deep that he had difficulty putting it into words.

Who is this Fraudster Eugene Glassco?

Mr. Glassco, in 2017, was 35 years of age. He came from Liberia as a refugee. There allegedly was a civil war in Liberia that allegedly claimed the lives of his parents when Mr. Glassco was just 12 years of age. He came to Canada in 2004 at the age of 22. Mr. Glassco had allegedly worked

in warehouse work and he had formed and operated his own shipping company where North American products would be shipped to Africa for sale.

By the time he was 26, just four years after he entered his host country Canada under the alleged pretense of being a refugee, he was convicted of committing a similar fraud. It occurred in Montreal in 2006. It was the same “black money” scam. Mr. Glassco received a one-year conditional sentence order. Obviously, the sentence had little rehabilitative effect on Mr. Glassco.

The Effect of Fraud Convictions on Refugees in Canada

As a result of his conviction in 2006 was that the Canada Border Services Agency issued a deportation order. Mr. Glassco was not granted refugee status. The order was not executed because of a number of appeals, apparently, by Mr. Glassco. Mr. Glassco’s current status in Canada is that he is inadmissible.

In other words, at the time he ripped off Mr. Dong, Mr. Glassco had no status in Canada and he had been ordered to be removed without appeal. Yet despite this scenario, Mr. Glassco freely roamed the streets in Canada, causing significant harm to at least Mr. Dong. This is Canada’s justice and immigration system at work.

Canadian Sentencing Principles in Fraud Cases

Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland suggested that Canadian Courts must consider the purposes and principles of sentencing in s. 718 to 718.2 of the Criminal Code, an offender’s personal circumstances and the circumstances of the offence, in order to assess his moral blameworthiness for its commission.

Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland suggested that this assessment would guide him to arrive at a sentence that would be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and the offender’s degree of responsibility. The judge held that the process is individual to each case and each offender.

Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland also suggested that the purposes and principles of criminal fraud sentencing take into account the needs of the community and the offender, and in the end, the sentence must balance these needs giving weight to some more than others depending on all the circumstances of the individual case.

Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland held that in a case like this the objectives of denunciation and general deterrence require emphasis, along with specific deterrence to Mr. Glassco given his previous conviction. The judge then went on to say that he could not ignore the rehabilitation of Mr. Glassco. Really?

The Sentence

Crown counsel submitted that Mr. Glassco ought to have been sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ jail. Mr. Glassco’s defence counsel suggested a sentence of six months.

Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland concluded that the appropriate sentence, in all the circumstances, for Mr. Galssco was two years and three months of jail, a restitution order in the amount of $65,000 to Mr. Dong, and a sample of his DNA.

How effective is this sentence likely to be? Provincial Court Judge J.I.S. Sutherland himself stated in his sentencing:

If he is deported to Liberia, which seems a likely result, the chances of him paying it are remote. I do not find the imposition of a restitution order ought to dramatically alter what would be an appropriate sentence in all the circumstances.

Given that fraudsters who are criminally sentenced in Canada often serve no more than 20% of their sentence, Mr. Glassco was likely released on an unsuspecting Canadian public about six months after being jailed, meaning that he likely has already been released at the time of this story. Given the track record of the Canada Border Services Agency, Mr. Glassco is unlikely to have been deported from Canada, and likely roams the streets of Canada again.

The Reported Decision

The Court’s decision regarding Mr. Glassco is reported as R. v. Glassco, 2017 BCPC 423 and is publically available on-line at:

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcpc/doc/2017/2017bcpc423/2017bcpc423.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAUZXVnZW5lIGdsYXNzY28gZnJhdWQAAAAAAQ&resultIndex=1

At Canadian Fraud News Inc., we welcome information from the public on the Mr. Eugene Glassco who is the subject of this case. We would like to know if he has been deported, and if he still in Canada, whether he has reoffended.

Inquiries

For further information on this case or any other fraud recovery inquiry, contact Canadian Fraud News Inc. at Devin@Canadianfraudnews.com .

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Devin Jones is the head writer and social media producer at Canadian Fraud News. Devin was raised in Toronto and is a graduate of the Ryerson University journalism program. As a former Digital Media editor at the Ryerson Review of Journalism, you can find Devin camera and coffee in hand, at his home photo studio.