KAMLOOPS - A man who pleaded guilty to using counterfeit cash at two businesses in Kamloops has been sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
Joshua Mathias, 20, also pleaded guilty to a similar offence in Victoria. Supreme Court judge Sheri Donegan told the court today, June 22, that Mathias used a $100 US counterfeit bill at a store in Victoria before travelling through the night to Kamloops with four friends.
On July 12, 2016, Mathias used another phony bill to purchase a small item at the Aldo store in Kamloops and got about $95 in Canadian cash as change.
He then went to the Walmart where he tried to pull the same scheme, but an employee knew the bill was counterfeit and called police.
"This was not, by any stretch, an elaborate scheme," Donegan said.
Mathias was arrested but gave police a fake name. He was released on bail by a judicial justice of the peace under an unsuspecting man's name. When he breached his bail conditions, the man whose identity Mathias was using was arrested and held in jail for four days before being granted bail.
Mathias was eventually arrested under his real name on Sept. 20, 2016 and has been in custody ever since.
Donegan pointed out hardships Mathias has gone through.
"Mr. Mathias has faced significant adversity in his life," Donegan said.
His mother did drugs while she was pregnant with him, his parents had substance abuse issues while he was growing up, and from the age of 8 he had bounced around different homes.
Mathias pleaded guilty to three charges against him, including two counts of uttering counterfeit money and one count of personation with intent to gain advantage. He was sentenced to 18-months in jail sentence followed by a two-year probation period which includes a curfew.
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