Kelowna fraudster who still owes $350,000 to past victims, back in jail facing new charges - InfoNews

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Kelowna fraudster who still owes $350,000 to past victims, back in jail facing new charges

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May 19, 2016 - 11:30 AM

KELOWNA – A man well known in the Okanagan area for ripping off vehicle owners and buyers is back in court for more of the same.

In 2010 Kurtis Eugene Pomerleau, 52, was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to 17 counts of fraud over $5,000. He became known for listing high quality vehicles like classic cars, selling based on that information, then delivering vehicles of far less value.

As a condition of his parole he was forbidden from using the internet or selling cars but by November 2015 he was back in court for similar charges.

Pomerleau and his mother, Patricia Louise Thomson, 81, are both charged with ten new fraud offences in both B.C. and Alberta. Although Thomson was released from custody after their arrest, Pomerleau has been kept in custody since Feb. 16. 

In a bail review decision released late last month, Pomerleau was ordered to remain in custody despite an offer of $75,000 curety. Justice John Harvey says none of the US$350,000 in restitution he was ordered to pay has been returned to his victims and he continued selling vehicles despite the prohibition order.

“It became clear that the accused, throughout the latter portion of his conditional sentence, was engaging in exactly the activity prohibited in the aforementioned condition; that is, he was selling and/or acting as agent in transactions involving the sale of automobiles and/or automobile parts,” Harvey writes. 

In arguing for release, Pomerleau said that by posting such a significantly large bail, his brother acting as a surety, agreeing to tougher release conditions and because his daughter recently became sick, circumstances have changed enough that he should be granted freedom until his trial, not scheduled to start until November.

Justice Harvey admits he would prefer the trial start sooner, but declined the request.

“The accused, now having spent some two months in custody since the original order, has, in my words, come to realize the magnitude of the impact of future breaches,” he writes.

Pomerleau also said he should be granted bail because his mother, who is co-accused, needs his help.

“Ms. Thompson was cross-examined on her affidavit material and I find little in her evidence or presentation which suggests that Ms. Thompson requires the assistance of Mr. Pomerleau in her day-to-day existence,” Harvey writes. “He may well provide some financial aid to her, but the same seems available from Mr. Pomerleau's brother (the proposed surety), and Ms. Thomson apparently has resources available to herself because it is she who proposes to put up some of the funds required to post bail.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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