Vernon judge sentences fraudster caught with 15 fake IDs and a blonde wig - InfoNews

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Vernon judge sentences fraudster caught with 15 fake IDs and a blonde wig

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August 22, 2019 - 6:00 PM

VERNON - An Alberta woman who was caught with 15 different fake IDs, along with a blonde wig and was only identified by police by her tattoos, was sentenced at the Vernon courthouse today, Aug. 22.

Jennifer Anne Fitger, born 1979, plead guilty to more than two dozen charges of identity fraud and theft, as well as charges for failing to appear to in court on numerous occasions in both B.C. and Alberta.

Crown lawyer Angela Ross told the court how on Dec. 23, 2017, the Calgary police pulled Fitger over in a vehicle whose owner was associated with criminal activity.

In the trunk of the car, police discovered a purse containing roughly 50 identity documents, which included 15 different drivings licences from B.C. and Quebec, some with matching social insurance number cards. While the IDs were in a multitude of different names, all contained Fitger's photograph. There was also an outstanding warrant for her arrest in Alberta.

Fitger was arrested and released but failed to show up to court or see her probation worker on several occasions.

Police were alerted to Fitger's present in Vernon when in May 2018 she applied for a $6,500 line of credit in Andre's Electronic Experts in Vernon.

The employee felt there was something unusual about the Fitger identification documents and told her they'd contact her when the line of credit was approved.

When Fitger returned to the store in a one-tonne U-Haul van - which she'd rented using a fake ID and credit card - she was arrested by police.

On searching the U-Haul, police discovered a leather purse containing a variety of fake IDs and applications for lines of credit, along with a blonde wig, a fraudulent credit card and several social insurance numbers. The U-Haul also contained goods bought from Home Depot with a fraudulently obtained line of credit including air conditioners, a fan, several propane tanks, hedge trimmers, drills and other electrical tools.

Police also discovered a $4,000 Home Depot line of credit application in another name. They also found methamphetamine.

As Fitger had no genuine identification on her, police identified her by her tattoos.

The court also heard how Fitger had applied the same day for a line of credit at Staples in Vernon with a fraudulent credit card.

The Crown lawyer told the court that Fitger already had 36 charges including impersonation, fraud, possession of stolen goods and several drug-related charges.

"She doesn't appear to realize the harm she's done to other people," Ross said.

The Crown said Fitger had a history of drug and alcohol addiction but a pre-sentence report showed Fitger was not interested in rehabilitation.

The report said Fitger showed little insight into her criminality and had justified her crimes.

Defence lawyer Michael Patterson argued the opposite.

"She does understand the fear, the inconvenience and the damage she has caused," he said.

"How?" replied Justice Mark Takahashi.

Patterson said Fitger had not applied for bail while in custody as she wanted to stay in jail to get her life in order.

Justice Takahashi said there was no point ordering Fitger to attend drug and alcohol counselling if she didn't want rehab.

Appearing on video, the Judge asked Fitger if there was anything she wanted to say.

"Being incarcerated in the best thing that's ever happened to me," she told the judge. "I know I've made some really poor choices... I'm willing to try my hardest."

The court heard how Fitger how taken several courses while in custody and did want counselling and substance abuse rehabilitation.

Patterson said Fitger had arranged to live with a friend upon her release and work for a landscaping business.

Judge Takahashi said despite what the pre-sentence report said, he found Fitger "surprisingly articulate."

"The picture I get in spite of what is reflected in her criminal record is she had insight and she's turned the corner and her hope is to address her difficulties," the judge said.

The Crown requested a sentence of 10 to 12 months of jail time, and as Fitger had been in custody for 14 months already her release was imminent.

However, Fitger requested to stay in jail for four more days, so a friend could come and pick her up.

Takahashi sentenced her to six days, explaining to Fitger this meant she would be released in four days.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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