A Toronto area woman who racked up bills totalling almost $4,500 during a visit to Caesars Windsor while armed with bank cards and identification stolen from multiple people was sentenced Monday to eight months in jail.
Kelly McCarthy, 33, was originally charged with 134 counts of fraud and identity theft after two days spent shopping, watching movies and ordering room service at the casino and hotel in August 2018, but later pleaded guilty to 10 counts.
The jail sentence will be followed by 18 months probation. Ontario Court Justice Shannon Pollock — who described it as an “insidious crime” — also issued a restitution order seeking recovery of the fraudulent expenditures.
“Her sentence sends a strong message denouncing this type of offence,” assistant Crown attorney Andrew Telford-Keogh told the Star. Identity theft crimes “have the potential to affect people in a profound way without them even knowing,” he said.
“This has the potential to ruin lives,” said Telford-Keogh.
This week’s sentencing came after numerous delays, in part due to the justice system dealing with McCarthy on similar criminal cases in other jurisdictions. On the eve of her Windsor trial, McCarthy pleaded guilty to 10 of the charges she was facing here, connected to a stolen driver’s licence, credit card, birth certificate, social insurance number, health card and other identification under 10 different names, and all knowingly obtained through crime.
The judge said aggravating factors included this not being McCarthy’s first conviction — or jail sentence — for fraud or impersonation, as well as the fact it was part of a larger organized criminal enterprise. Defence lawyer Linda McCurdy, who argued for a conditional sentence to be served at home, told the Star nobody else was charged for the offences for which her client was found guilty in Windsor.
Despite the acknowledged involvement of others in a much bigger case of fraud, McCarthy faced no conspiracy charges.
McCarthy was already in jail before Monday’s proceedings, and she appeared via Zoom from a correctional facility in Milton where she’s serving a custodial sentence for another identity theft conviction in Scarborough.
McCurdy said her client is “trying to get her life in order” and hoping to reconnect with a daughter she lost under a custody order. At the time of her Windsor arrest, McCurdy said McCarthy was abusing crystal methamphetamine, a strong and highly addictive drug.
Originally sourced by the Windsor Star