Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Their two victims will be able to recover all of their money following a search carried out by the Laval police.

Two fraudsters plead guilty to stealing from two elders

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After his guilty plea, Assad El-Atat was taken to the detention center at the Laval courthouse. He will have to serve a three-month prison sentence.

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Two criminals arrested eight months ago by the Laval Police Service (SPL) pleaded guilty Monday to charges of grandparent fraud against two elders whom they manipulated to steal money from them. money, in November 2021. Following the search carried out by the SPL on the day of the arrest of the two criminals, the two defrauded ladies will be able to recover the entire stolen amount.

Arrested on June 8, 2023, Assad El-Atat and Gabriel Ménard were part of a group of fraudsters from Laval who targeted seniors and encouraged them to withdraw thousands of dollars in cash from an ATM.

The fraudsters contacted the person after obtaining information about them.

The first posed as a grandson who had just had a car accident involving a pregnant woman. To play on the sense of urgency, he mentioned having been arrested by the police, claiming to need money to be released from prison.

It was then that a second fraudster appeared on the scene and impersonated the father of a friend, allegedly a lawyer, who demanded an amount of $5,000 in cash to pay the bail to the police station.

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After his guilty plea, Gabriel Ménard regained his freedom, but he will have to respect a two-year probation sentence, which includes a series of restrictive conditions.

Two other accomplices then traveled in person to collect the money, saying that they worked for a private mail delivery company.

The court's presentation of the facts revealed that two ladies from Laval agreed to pay respectively $4,900 and $5,000 to the group in the hope of helping a member of their family.

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El-Atat, 25, and Ménard, 27, pleaded guilty to fraud over $5,000, conspiracy and impersonation.

The case of two other people arrested at the same time as them has not yet been heard.

On the day of their arrest, a search carried out by investigators from the Laval police General Crime Squad led to the seizure of nearly $14,000 in cash, 18 cell phones and four vehicles of criminal property.

The prosecutor for the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP), Me Gabriel Sénécal, specified during the guilty plea that the money, protected in a bank account, will be used to reimburse the two eldest victims of the fraud. /p>

Assad El-Atat, who was convicted in the United States in 2018 for fraud, received three months in prison. He headed to the cells after filing his plea. He played the role of the courier who had to collect the money in person.

His accomplice Gabriel Ménard was able to regain his freedom. Although he has no criminal history, he is subject to a two-year probationary period during which he will have to respect several conditions of release. He was the driver of the vehicle which was used to fraudulently collect money from the victims.

Unfortunately, the number of cases of grandparent-type fraud has seen a significant increase in Laval territory in recent years, despite several prevention campaigns.

The victims are on average 79 years old. According to police data, they are most often robbed of amounts ranging from $400 to $10,000.

Laval police remind that victims who withdrew money voluntarily are held responsible by their financial institution under the law.

No possibility of reimbursement is possible in almost the majority of cases. It is therefore advisable to never give cash to a stranger.

Finally, it is strongly recommended not to hesitate to validate a request to withdraw money from those around you or the police services of your municipality.

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