Good Samaritan’s actions lone bright spot in Sarnia serial fraudster’s latest schemes

A Sarnia judge was reviewing Dusty Ryan’s latest fraud scheme when he turned his attention to the person who stopped him.

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A Sarnia judge was reviewing Dusty Ryan’s latest fraud scheme when he turned his attention to the person who stopped the fraud.

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A Good Samaritan had noticed Ryan trying to persuade an elderly woman to withdraw $800 for him from an ATM in a supermarket in Sarnia. Fearing it was suspicious, this unknown person stepped in and called the woman’s family and the police.

Judge Mark Poland said the actions of this unidentified resident were absolutely remarkable.

“If anywhere in this case is there a glimmer of human spirit in the facts, it is right there: That another good, astute citizen was bright enough to see what was going on and intervene and intervene on that poor woman’s behalf.” “, he said. “Absolutely wonderful and outstanding commitment to this person.”

Ryan, a homeless and drug addict from Sarnia with a long track record of fraud, struck up a conversation with the woman as she sat on her porch. He gave her a fake name and backstory and claimed he was also friends with her son-in-law. By the end of their conversation, he had persuaded her to go to a nearby Circle K to get money for him.

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Foiled by the Good Samaritan, Ryan managed to successfully take $500 from another woman a few months later while pretending to rent her a room.

“The fraud allegations themselves are most troubling because they reflect a pattern of behavior that is opportunistic in nature and really exploits the vulnerability of these victims,” ​​Deputy QC Suzanne LaSha said.

While he sentenced Ryan to a total of nine months in prison, Poland also reviewed his previous criminal record, which includes 13 convictions for fraud worth less than $5,000.

“This tiger has not changed its stripes. That’s for sure,” the judge said.

Ryan apologized to the court for taking up his time. Poland thanked him for that but added that this is not really the problem.

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“The people who need an apology are the victims. This isn’t shoplifting from a faceless corporation. It’s not stealing from the rich,” he said. “This is hunting the weak.”

Defense attorney Terry Brandon pointed out that her client has struggled with an opioid addiction that has lasted for more than two decades.

“He can’t get over the hurdle of this addiction,” she said.

While somewhat sympathetic, the judge noted that Ryan’s struggle with addiction did not excuse his predatory behavior.

“Drugs took a lot out of you, I appreciate that,” Poland told Ryan, “but you took a lot out of others.”

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The judge told Ryan he would recommend that he serve his sentence at the Algoma Treatment and Remand Center in Sault Ste. Marie, but the final decision rests with the correctional officers.

Brandon and LaSha both proposed the nine-month sentence following Ryan’s guilty plea. Poland agreed to the schedule but warned Ryan that had he been convicted of the charges after the trial, the sentence would have been much heavier.

“They definitely expected a prison sentence,” he said.

Ryan had 19 days in custody to reduce his sentence. If released, he will have a year-long probationary order prohibiting him from contacting his recent victims. He was also asked to pay back the $500 to the one woman.

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