Man pleads guilty to defrauding North Slave Correctional Complex, sentenced to six months in jail

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A Yellowknife man who pleaded guilty to defrauding the North Slave Correctional Complex of more than $11,000 has been sentenced to six months in jail.

Molson Romie was originally facing 49 charges for forging dozens of cheques over a two month period in January and February 2020.

He was also charged with mischief by obstruction and breaching his bail conditions after he tried to enter a woman’s home in Whatì, N.W.T., without permission, in March 2020.

In territorial criminal court on Monday, Crown prosecutor Madison Walls announced the Crown would be dropping 42 of the charges after Romie pleaded guilty to the five counts of fraud under $5,000, one count of mischief by obstruction and breaching his bail conditions.

eDeposit scam

In January 2020, Romie obtained a cheque for 71 cents from the North Slave Correctional Complex’s (NSCC) Inmate Trust Fund.

It was made out to a previous inmate of the facility, but Romie used blank paper and clear tape to doctor the recipient’s name and the amount. Romie then took a photo of the cheque and deposited it into several different bank accounts using the eDeposit function of online banking sites. 

Over a four day period, Romie was able to withdraw more than $11,000 from the NSCC Inmate Trust Fund. The vast majority of that money was used to buy alcohol and drugs, defence lawyer Jay Bran told the court.

The NSCC Inmate Trust Fund was able to recuperate the money from its bank’s insurance. 

A month later, Romie obtained a chequebook which had been stolen out of a truck in Yellowknife and used it to write himself a cheque for over $500. He asked his cousin to cash the cheque for him because he told her he had lost his bank card. Days later, his cousin called the RCMP after discovering the cheque hadn’t cleared and her account was in overdraft. 

In a joint sentencing submission, Walls and Bran asked that Romie be sentenced to a total of six months in jail and 12 months probation for the seven charges. Judge Donovan Molloy accepted the submission.

With time served, Romie could be released from jail in just under five months.

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