Abbotsford (September 9, 2019) – Jennifer Yvonne Thompson has been convicted of seven criminal charges including fraud for emptying fraudulent credit cards, she claimed to have received from her sugar daddy. She defrauded the TD bank of $195,059 between November 2015 and March 2016. Provincial Court Judge Gregory Rideout found her testimony ‘absurd’ and rejected the explanation in his judgment from September 3. Thompson was found guilty of seven fraud-related offenses involving five different Visa credit cards.
The sugar daddy story
Thompson argues that she was tricked into using the fraudulent credit cards by a man, she met through sugardaddy.com. The pre-school daycare worker had decided to make some ‘extra money’ which is why she set up a profile on sugardaddy.com in the first place. Thompson said that she was hoping to meet a man of means. The accused admits that she was using five TD Visa cards during her 8 months relationship with a man called Warren, which she never met. She claimed that she was simply following instructions, without a doubt in her mind that she was withdrawing the money from her sugar daddy’s accounts with his permission.
The 29-year-old accused testified she believed that Warren was a real estate agent and that he was “basically a wealthy man, he owned businesses, he was from Alberta, he was married”. They allegedly agreed on $1,000 per week ‘allowance’ for her romantic services. According to her testimony, Warren suggested sending her certified cheques to pay her. But, Thompson was not comfortable and thought an email transfer would be safer. She argued that before she could make this suggestion, he offered to add her as a secondary user on his credit card. During examination, the B.C. woman stated that she was ‘okay’ with being a secondary credit card holder on the account of a total stranger. On the other hand, when her sugar daddy offered to send her certified cheques, she was concerned that they would bounce.
From November 2015 to March 2016, the accused was successively added as a secondary user to a total of five TD Visa credit cards. Her name had little alterations on every card she received, such as Jennifer Thompson, Yvonne Thompson, Jennifer Yvonne Thomson, etc. Thompson testified that she was not troubled that Warren did not seem to get her name right and blamed the modifications on the bank. According to Thompson, Warren and herself were planning romantic dates in Casinos since he was a gambler and his wife would not find big withdrawals from different casino locations suspicious. She explained that first, he would send her instructions to pick up and authorize the credit cards in her name in different TD bank branches and then he would ask her to make large withdrawals of funds in casinos where they were supposed to meet and spend the money together. However, he never showed up, which never made her wonder because she felt ‘anything is possible’.
‘It would be that late evening, it would be the next morning and I never got a for sure answer until after it was done.’, Thompson testified. As soon as, the ‘date’ was canceled, he instructed her to keep her ‘allowance’ and send the rest of the money by Canadian Post to a PO box, he provided in Alberta. Sending large amounts of money via mail did not make her suspicious, she was committing fraud. After every date attempt, where he never showed and she maxed out her newly received credit card by withdrawing cash advances, Warren allegedly instructed her to dispose the card.
They communicated with each other exclusively by email and telephone. But, Thompson was not able to show any evidence in court proofing her contact or relationship with her claimed sugar daddy Warren. She said that she deleted all of their email exchanges since she was in a common-law partnership at the time and did not want him to find them. Furthermore, after she was arrested, Warren blocked her on suggardaddy.com, so she was unable to draw records from her contact with him from her profile on the online dating site.
In January 2016, Thompson and Warren planned to meet at the Starlight Casino in New Westminster. The accused purchased $23,920 of credit at a cash terminal. However, the transaction was canceled since the casino viewed it as an ‘unusual transaction’. Subsequently, the police were called and seized her credit card. Thompson was not arrested, nor charged after a bank representative verified that she was issued as a secondary user for this credit account. Despite being questioned by the police, she denied being concerned at any point that her actions could be fraudulent.
“I find the accused’s explanation to be absurd. I do not believe her.”, Judge Gregory Rideout
Provincial Court Judge Gregory Rideout did not believe the explanations of Thompson. He described her testimony as ‘incomprehensible’ and ‘absurd’ in his judgment on September 3. Nevertheless, he suspects that she had at least one co-perpetrator, but he sees Thompson as a ‘necessary link in perpetrating the fraud as an active participant’.
In the judgment, the B.C. judge laid out the case that an unknown male accomplice called TD bank impersonating the primary account holder of a credit card, on which he wishes to issue a secondary Visa card for Thompson. The male accomplice was able to answer various security questions correctly. The judge saw the slight variations of Thompsons names as part of the scheme. By using altered names, the bank establishes distinct profiles for each credit card and the security software could not recognize the pattern as fraudulent activity which would have issued a fraud alert.
The judge concluded, “I do not find the accused to be a credible witness. I do not believe her evidence that she was essentially duped by a man she met online when she agreed to be his mistress. She misled the court.” Judge Rideout believes that Thompson knew exactly what she was doing. Consequently, he found her guilty of charges including fraud of $5,000 and unauthorized use of credit card data.
Thompson has yet to be sentenced. Her next court appearance is scheduled for January 7, 2020.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.