Over $7,000 in fraudulent credit card transactions resulted in a nearly year-long conditional sentence for a Penticton man who said he was motivated by a cocaine addiction.
Dallas Wayne Millard, 30, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud, one count of personation with intent to gain advantage, one count of possession of stolen property under $5,000 and driving while prohibited on Oct. 3 in Penticton Provincial Court.
The father of four said his life “spiralled” when he began using cocaine after his divorce.
Millard became emotional during the hearing, wiping away tears.
In May a confidential informant tipped off the RCMP to transactions being made by Millard, and allegedly two others, using a stolen credit card.
Police were familiar with Millard’s co-accused, Ryan Luscombe and James Colt Wilson, and located Millard leaving an Eckhardt Avenue residence in May. Millard was arrested in the 24/7 convenience store parking lot after he produced an ID card that was reported stolen in April.
Around $250 in groceries were found at the Eckhardt Avenue residence during the execution of a search warrant and matched to a purchase made with a stolen credit card at the Real Canadian Wholesale Club.
Also found in the Eckhardt residence on May 6 were a stolen wallet and cards, a printer from Staples, a .22 rifle and ammunition as well as suspected cocaine and methamphetamine.
Police matched purchases on the card using video surveillance to Staples and London Drugs with other purchases including Winners and Shoe Warehouse totalling $7,114.73.
Millard also pleaded guilty to possessing a stolen bicycle from the Penticton Hostel. Police located Millard on May 17 near a shed by his residence where one of the stolen bicycles was located and matched the serial number given to police.
In a statement to police, Millard said he received a phone call telling him there were “hot things” in his garage, denying the theft of the bike.
Crown counsel Ann Lerchs sought 8.5 to 11. 5 months jail time for the fraud and theft as well as an 18-month probation order.
Judge Greg Koturbash disagreed with Lerchs’ assessment of the fraud as “sophisticated” noting Millard was trying to max out the stolen credit cards as fast as possible.
Koturbash granted the conditional sentence sought by Millard’s defence counsel, calling it a “calculated risk,” citing his lack of a criminal record as “somewhat unusual.”
“Our community has seen an increase in the number of property crimes within the last couple of years. Many of them appeared to be fuelled by drug addictions,” Koturbash said before sentencing Millard to just under one year (339 days) to be served the community — with Millard receiving 118 days credit for his time spent in pre-trial custody.
(read more: Penticton “under siege” according to judge)
Millard also pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while prohibited when an officer located him in the driver’s seat after a traffic stop on Dec. 11, 2015.
Co-accused Ryan Luscombe and James Colt Wilson are still facing multiple charges, including fraud and possession of stolen property, with a focus hearing set for Oct. 24 in Penticton Provincial Court.
Millard was granted bail for two charges of breaking and entering during a hearing on July 19. His bail included a $1,500 surety he has been unable to pay. Millard will remain in custody though a hearing will be set to attempt to vary his bail conditions.