Man charged with defrauding senior in insurance-related scheme

Sarnia Police say a 68-year-old Sarnia woman has fallen prey to a 46-year-old man, also from Sarnia who now faces charges related to the fraudulent activity.

The woman and her husband, police say, met in late 2005 or early 2006, the relationship sparked by the younger man fixing the couple's computer.

When the woman's husband died in 2009, police say the friendship continued, perhaps notably with tales of the younger man's family struggles to make ends meet.

In early 2012, police say the man told the woman he had been the victim of a break and enter and that he and his family had lost a substantial amount of property. He informed her that the insurance company would not settle his claim until he purchased new items to replace those that were stolen.

Police say the woman assisted the man and in January and February of last year, the pair attended several locations to purchase a large quantity of items, including furniture and electronics. The accused is said to have assured the woman he would repay her once he was reimbursed from the insurance company. 

The investigation revealed that the man did not report anything to his insurance company and he did not report the break and enter to the police.  On January 14, 2013, Sarnia Police executed a Criminal Code search warrant at the accused home where he was arrested. Officers of the Criminal Investigations Branch, assisted by the COPPS unit, seized numerous items, including a 70” flat screen television, furniture, camera, iPad, computer, surround sound speakers and stereo equipment.

Police say the man was later released on a promise not to communicate with the victim.  He will make his first court appearance March 12, 2013.  

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