In November 2015, a Regina man was sentenced for offences related to a rash of identity thefts.
Less than a year later, Brad Waselenchuk was back to his old ways, feeding his drug and gambling problems with cash earned through a scheme revolving around the same type of crime.
On Tuesday, the 38-year-old pleaded guilty to his latest round of charges — 17 in total — which included mail theft, identity theft, fraud, personation and possession of forged documents and the instruments used to make them, among other charges.
His co-accused, 41-year-old James Donald Provost from Edmonton, is taking his own set of charges to Court of Queen’s Bench for trial. A date has not yet been set.
But Waselenchuk decided to bring his matters to an end, his lawyer and the Crown jointly proposing a total sentence of 39 months which, after remand credit, amounts to two years less a day going forward.
Regina Provincial Court Judge James Rybchuk took about half an hour to consider before agreeing to impose the sentence, referring to Waselenchuk’s criminal record as “horrific, long (and) voluminous.”
The “horrific” nature of the record, court heard, was that Waselenchuk is far from a stranger to fraud-related crime.
He was actually still on probation for his last such offences when, in September and October of 2016, he involved himself in the new ones.
Crown prosecutor Derek Maher provided a rundown for the court, detailing offences that included using the identity of an Alberta man to purchase and use a credit card to the tune of close to $2,000; using the identity of a second man to obtain store credit and buying more than $5,000 worth of electronics; using a third man’s identity to get a phone and a contract; and breaking into mailboxes inside an apartment building and making off with people’s mail.
The typical method of operation saw stolen mail used to create fake identity documents with information obtained about the theft victims. Waselenchuk’s photo was added to the fake cards, which were used to purchase goods then sold for cash.
Police were able to connect Waselenchuk to the crimes through video surveillance and photos, as well as the fact the offences so closely fit ones investigators had looked into not so long ago.
Knowing Waselenchuk liked to stay in hotels, police went to a Regina hotel on Oct. 19 and checked to see whether someone had booked in under one of the stolen IDs police knew of. Sure enough, someone by that name had checked in and, soon after, police encountered Waselenchuk in the parking lot.
One of the investigators said Waselenchuk “smirked” at him and took off running. He didn’t make it far. On his person, police seized stolen mail, several pieces of ID in other people’s names and SIM cards. A search of the room revealed more fake ID and stolen mail (belonging to 11 people in total), computer equipment used to produce the ID and a safe that contained templates to make the documents.
Defence lawyer Doug Andrews said his client has not yet gotten treatment for his issues but “knows he has to get off the train.”
“This is quite the enterprise that you had going on here …,” Rybchuk observed. “This is pretty awful stuff.”
He warned Waselenchuk that if he keeps on in the future, he will be looking at federal time.