Forest fire donation scam lands woman a year of probation

Gary Kean
Published on June 19, 2014
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The young woman who attempted to fraudulently raise money for forest fire victims in Labrador by going door to door in Corner Brook last summer has been given 12 months of probation.

The woman is now 18 years old, but she cannot be identified because she was a youth when she was charged by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in Corner Brook last July.

Earlier this year, she entered guilty pleas to two counts of attempted fraud and two counts of breaching conditions of the probation order she was subject to at the time.

The woman was back in court Thursday morning for a sentencing hearing before Judge Wayne Gorman. Neither the Crown, nor the defence, sought a custodial sentence.

Carolyn Mouland, who represented the Crown, argued the woman should be given a period of probation and ordered to perform community service. Hilary Feltham, a legal aid lawyer based in Stephenville, asked the judge for a conditional discharge and for her client to write letters of apologies in lieu of community service.

The woman was one of two charged with going to at least two homes in Corner Brook, requesting donations for families who had lost property as a result of forest fires in Labrador last summer. Neither of the two victims who answered the door gave any money and filed complaints with the police because they felt the canvassing was suspicious.

The other woman, who was 18 at the time, had the charges against her withdrawn in provincial court May 27.

In addition to the year of probation, Gorman ordered the woman to write letters of apologies to both of the women who were solicited for donations.