A repeat fraudster duped a couple of $126,000 into thinking they were buying a duplex, escaping a generous punishment, if his loved ones are successful in reimbursing the victims for him.
“If there is a full refund, a generous joint suggestion would be,” M. he saidI The Crown’s Denis Trottier in the file of Gloria Echeveria Albu Paz this Tuesday at the Montreal Courthouse.
Just before that, the 67-year-old defendant pleaded guilty to a fraud that began in 2015 and lasted five years.
At the time, Echeverria Albu Paz was already on probation because of a fraud conviction. But that hasn’t stopped her from doing it again, this time targeting a couple she met by chance a few years ago. Taking advantage of her desire to access the property, she used the “ghost house” scheme.
“He told them that a woman was leaving the country, that she was in charge of selling her duplex at a reduced price, and that if the couple were interested in buying it, they would have to deposit $4,000 for the opening file”, The Crown explained to
After several meetings, the couple accepted the offer and made the first payment, although without becoming the owner, as the duplex did not exist.
“She would tell them that there was a dispute in court, that the property was forfeited, that there was a change of judge” [dans le soi-disant dossier]…”, enlisted Crown, explaining that the forger had also given him appointments to the courthouse on several occasions.
And yes, the fraudster kept on collecting money from them. Caught in this spiral, the couple paid $500 to $1,500 a week for a total of $126,000.
“They lost everything,” dropped Crown, explaining that both the husband and his wife specifically want to re-see the lost money.
But as Echeverria Albu Paz does not have funds to reimburse, it is her relatives who will pay in her place, and who will allow her to obtain clemency from the prosecution.
And with the Crown’s agreement, she will remain free on bail, while awaiting sentencing until next January.
The decision raised the eyebrows of Judge Jean-Jacques Gagne, who recalled that Echeveria Albu Paz had several antecedents of fraud. In 2013, she also received a prison sentence for a similar fraud, followed by probation.
“At the next date, he will have to be before me with his personal effects, because I will imprison him, despite the lawyers’ suggestion,” he said.