As one member of a group of people who traveled around Ontario fabricating fake credit cards, Cris Castro, 45, has been sentenced to nine months in a Sarnia prison.
Formerly of Alberta, Castro previously pleaded not guilty to defrauding two Sarnia businesses, possession of stolen property and fraudulent use of credit cards. His sentencing was delayed until today.
Castro became a part of the fraud ring through a man he met while in custody in Alberta for unrelated charges.
The rampant fraud began in Montreal when the group used a fraudulent credit card to rend a vehicle for their trip to Alberta. While en route to Sarnia as means of crossing into Alberta, the group used stolen information on a cell phone and one other device to fabricate multiple credit cards. A device they were using could program the cards’ magnetic strips.
A frequent user of methamphetamines at the time, Castro and the group bought Rolex watches and designer clothes intending to sell them in Alberta and use the money for drugs. The group tried to enter Michigan through the Blue Water Bridge, but American authorities turned them back upon finding the credit card equipment in the vehicle.
They were arrested in Canada but Castro was released under the conditions that he stay away from the co-accused and a ban was placed on the possession of fraudulently-obtained cards. The subsequent jail sentence stems from Castro twice violating his parole conditions and defrauding two local Sarnia business to the amount of $2,220.
According to Justice Deborah Austin, a significant jail sentence was justified and it could have been longer than nine months. The Justice delayed the sentencing in lieu of further presentations in support of a joint submission.
The nine-month sentence in a Sarnia prison includes the equivalent of 142 days of presentence custody and will be followed by a year’s probation.
Read the full story at the Sarnia Observer.