August 12, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Fantasy Chalet Rentals | A criminal and pathological liar

A repeat fraudster who swindled nearly 200 people through a bogus cottage rental scheme during the pandemic was sentenced to five years in prison at the Saint-Jérôme court on Thursday. “Society is at risk once he gets out,” a judge warned in 2017.

Published at 7:00 am.

Louis-Samuel Perron

Louis-Samuel Perron

Kevin Goulet, who was convicted of similar crimes at the time, was later described as a pathological liar. He claimed he was admitted to medicine at the university and multiplied “schemes” and scams to get funds from his ex-wife. Five years later, the scammer doesn’t seem to have learned his lesson.

A 30-year-old Laval resident pleaded guilty Thursday to fraud charges, admitting to fraudulently renting rooms and trailers across Quebec between February 2020 and November 2021. During this period, many Quebecers took refuge in a room to escape the epidemic.

His operation was always the same: Using fake or stolen identities, Kevin Goulet created fake cottage rental ads on Kijiji, Facebook or GoDaddy. He easily found photos of cabins he didn’t own online.

The scammer asked his victims for a deposit to reserve the chalet and provided a false rental agreement. Unsurprisingly, the victims found themselves in the water. No fewer than 197 people were defrauded by Kevin Goulet’s scheme. Fraud over $70,000. Most deposits were between $200 and $400, but three victims were defrauded of more than $2,000 by the scammer.

Crown Prosecutor M.e Alexandre Dubois and defense attorney Me Annie Boyer made a joint recommendation for a five-year sentence, which was approved by Judge Sylvain Lepin. Kevin Goulet must pay restitution to most of his victims under a restitution order.

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This isn’t the first time Kevin Goulet has been jailed for fraud. He was jailed for 42 months at Sherbrooke Crown Court in 2017 for similar offences.

During that time, the scammer has devised a luxury chalet rental scheme and bamboozled his ex-wife for months with a series of outlandish lies.

According to a July 13, 2017 hearing in Granby, Judge Claire Desgens didn’t mince words to describe Kevin Goulet’s “deception.”

“What I asked for today as evidence is perverse. I understand the lack of resentment Mr. Winer might have had towards the victims of the slums. It’s a thing. It’s another thing to play on the vulnerability of certain people. Riding for months, living with someone, convincing him that you love him enough to marry him, emptying his account at that time is one thing,” said the judge.

The magistrate was particularly marked by this file, to the extent that he said it was “long”. “We can’t be indifferent about it. We can be a judge, we see all the colors, but this case is a special case,” Judge Desgens said.