Why this B.C. fraudster only has to pay back half of what he took | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Why this B.C. fraudster only has to pay back half of what he took

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A Surrey man who conned a childhood friend out of $500,000 and spent the money on lavish trips to Las Vegas and a cocaine habit, will only have to pay back half the cash after the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled making him pay back the full half a million dollars would be overly harsh.

Ravinder Paul Mangat, 47, who goes by Rob Mangat, had been sentenced to three years in jail and given a $500,000 restitution order but took his case to the B.C. Court of Appeal.

According to a Nov. 29 decision, Mangat argued he'd been given too long a jail sentence because he'd failed to turn up to court on the second day of his trial.

He also argued the $500,000 restitution order was too harsh.

The decision says Mangat had worked as a financial advisor for a decade and in 2012 approached a childhood friend with a fictitious investment scheme.

The friend invested $500,000 but Mangat never invested the funds and instead used the cash to support a "lavish lifestyle" that included trips to Las Vegas and a cocaine habit.

The court traced roughly $281,000 to travel and living expenditures, while the other $219,000 was taken out in cash. The decision says the cash appears to have been spent on "drugs or other expenses to support his lifestyle."

He was charged with fraud in 2017 and ultimately convicted and sentenced to three years in jail.

At the appeals court, Mangat argued this sentence should be two years and the restitution order be reduced to $219,000, which represents the portion of the funds taken from the victims which could not be traced directly to travel and lifestyle expenses.

While the three-judge panel at the Court of Appeal rejected Mangat's argument that the prison sentence was too harsh, the judges do agree that also adding a $500,000 restitution order to the jail time made the sentence excessive.

The Judges then had to decide how much the restitution order should be.

"Knowing what happened to the money is important because one of the overarching goals of a restitution order is to deprive the offender of any of the fruits of his crime," Justice Barbara Fisher said in the decision. "The appellant directly used approximately $280,000 of the fraudulently obtained funds to pay for travel, food, and other living expenses. The balance was not accounted for, but it appears to have been taken out of the appellant’s bank account in cash and spent on drugs or other expenses to support his lifestyle."

The Justice then goes on to say it's "highly unlikely" Mangat would be able to pay the full amount of the restitution. He was 47 years old and was living with his parents before going to prison.

With what appears to be little reasoning, the Justice then reduced the restitution order to $250,000.

Whether the victim will ever see a penny of the money remains to be seen, and the childhood friend will have to take civil legal action against Mangat if the funds aren't paid.

READ MORE: Why Jessie Simpson may not see a penny of his $6.9M award

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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