NANAIMO — A man was sentenced to nearly six months jail following a string of fraud, stolen property and driving offences on the mid-island, including stealing cheques which belonged to a deceased man.
Brandon David Comeau, 33, pleaded guilty to seven charges and 19 counts in relation to crimes in Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach and Errington between December 2017 and September.
Comeau was also given one-year probation and banned from driving for 18 months upon his release in 170 days.
Court heard in December 2017 Comeau arranged to have a stolen cheque deposited even though it belonged to a deceased man who resided in a housing complex managed by Comeau.
An unknowing third party who received fees from Comeau for cashing two stolen cheques was later told by a bank the account belonged to a deceased person.
The payments were denied and the third party reported the incidents to police.
Court was told in February Comeau cashed several stolen cheques totaling $5,700 which belonged to a Qualicum Beach man.
In September, Comeau claimed to work for a plumbing company and charged $3,500 worth of tools to its account at a Nanaimo hardware store. Comeau was linked to the crime through phone records, surveillance footage and confirmation he did not currently work for the company.
Judge Brian Harvey ordered Comeau to pay back the value of the fraudulently purchased tools.
Other crimes Comeau admitted to included a pair of driving while prohibited offences and the fraudulent sale of goods to an Errington man arranged through Facebook.
James Wright, Comeau's lawyer, said his client has been a drug user since he was 13-years-old, pleaded guilty to all of the charges against him and has taken responsibility for his actions.
“It was a trainwreck of a go for him...drugs are the bane of his existence,” Wright said.
Comeau is a trained carpenter, is salvageable and wants to reconnect with his children, Wright said.
“He's wasted a lot of time by his problems and addiction with drugs and he wants to turn his life around.”
Wright said arrangements have been made to have Comeau take part in an extended treatment centre in Victoria when his jail term is over.
Comeau's probation conditions include a weapons ban and only possessing his own debit and credit cards.
His only previous conviction is a driving while prohibited charge.
Comeau was credited for time already served in custody as he had been jailed since late September.
Details of Comeau's crime wave were revealed in an agreed statement of facts between the Crown and defence during a Dec. 20 sentencing hearing in provincial court in Nanaimo.
On Twitter: @reporterholmes
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