A man and a woman, Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were arrested in connection to a series of frauds which were related to roofing and chimney work in East York. Sampson was 41 years while Cipolla was 35 years. The two of them faced the same charges of being involved in fraud of more than 5000 dollars. Since March, there had been five cases of fraud reported on two people who were pretending to be roofers. In July, a woman who resided in Sibley Avenue indicated that she paid the two frauds a total of 350 dollars for a repair and after it was completed, the female was overcharged by 150 dollars (Sidhu, 2017). The two individuals gave the woman a debit machine, and after she had entered her debit card and the PIN, the man and woman ran away with her card. Later, the woman learned that a total of 800 dollars had been withdrawn from her account.
Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were arrested on Monday 28th August, and the two did not have any fixed addresses. It was essential for their case as thieves, since having a fixed account would result in an issue. If they had a specific address, it would not be hard for the police to track them to where they were located and arrest them for the fraud involvement case. The pair was taken to court and was charged with a total of twenty-six charges and such included harassment, theft, fraud and failing to comply with the probation case (Bayview, 2017). The investigation took place for a period of time. People were encouraged to contact the 54 Division police at 416-808-5400 in case they may have been defrauded by Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla. It would be necessary when making the case against the pair; since they would be charged with all the illegal mistakes, they had committed.
Since the case of Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were made, Toronto Police took it upon themselves to warn the east end homeowners, of the roofing and chimney repair that had been ongoing since March. A homeowner in Coleman Ave indicated that the man and woman who were carrying out the fraud cases had approached her on one Tuesday, but they did not succeed to persuade the individual. She had been warned by a neighbor on the scam that Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were involved in, by asking to fix a chimney and they would then take the money and disappear. The police officers indicated that the scam was ongoing for a long period in different places such as Meighen Ave, Sibley Ave, and Cedarcrest Blvd. the police also gave a description of the pair, indicating that at times, the man wore a baseball cap and the woman at times used a bun to cover her black hair (Bulldog, 2017). The pair was using a white scooter at times during their operations. These warnings were necessary so that homeowners would identify the couple in case they decided to visit other homes and also call the police of the pair was identified.
There were a total of ten victims for fell for the scam by Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla. Nine of the victims were women who were ranging from the ages of eighty to ninety-three years. The victims of the crimes lived on streets that were quite in East York, Victoria Park Aves, south of Eglinton and parts of Scarborough. One of the victims who fell for the scam was reportedly blind. About four of the victims used to live on their own, another victim was dementia, and one woman was alone as her husband had just died four days earlier. It is clear that Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were going for the weak people, who would not be able to realize that they were being scammed. The older generation would not realize that the pair was having other intentions, or they had other issues to think that they would be taken advantage off. It also shows how despicable the couple was, targeting the vulnerable and defenseless individuals, who would not defend themselves against the fraud cases.
After the investigation that was done, it was found out that the duo would work using a certain agreement between them. Kevin Sampson would be one to report the issue of roofing and chimney to the residents. He would knock on the doors of the victims and giving them advice concerning a problem and indicated that it required to be repaired. Kevin Sampson would insist that immediate attention was required so that water damage would be avoided in the houses. On some occasions, Kevin would insist that the repairs were essential since they would kip the wild animals away from the attic, which would, in turn, lead them to the houses. Since the victims were vulnerable people, they did not recognize that the repairs were mostly fictions and the pair only wanted to get a chance to steal from the aged individuals (System, 2017).
Aimee Cipolla also had her part to play and she would ask the unsuspecting people that she wanted to use the washrooms while her partner was fixing the roof or the chimney. Once she got access to the house, Aimee Cipolla would look for identification documents of the victims; take the debit and credit cards, valuables and any cash they found in the house. The pair then had a device they used to extract the pin, and they were able to steal the money of the unsuspecting victims. After they had taken the cards, the couple would then make purchases using the credit cards or withdrew money belong to the victims using their debit cards after pin extraction. The investigation indicated that Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were able to withdraw a total of 18.649 dollars from accounts in the Nova Scotia Bank. They were also able to access the credit card of a man who was eighty years old and was suffering from memory loss. According to the judge, the bank was able to recognize the fraudulent nature of the transactions, and they reimbursed the entire amount of money. The total loss that was experienced from the victims was 21481 dollars.
When the case was being listened to, the judge indicated that the use of a female touch during the instances was meant to attain the make the elderly victims trust the couple. The judge referred to the victims of the fraud cases that are elderly as citizens who were valued and were in need of protection from fraudsters who would take advantage of their vulnerability. The judge noted that it was the third time Kevin Sampson was caught up in a fraud case involving the older adults. Sampson was from Nova Scotia and had earlier been sentenced for such cases, which indicates that he might have been the mastermind behind the crime and only recruited Aimee Cipolla after telling her how easy it was stealing of the elderly, as they were unsuspecting of theft that would happen to them (System, 2017).
After the case was listened to, it was decided that the judge would be sending Kevin Sampson to the penitentiary. During the hearing, Sampson had pleaded guilty of his cases, and his mistake was referred to as a "despicable and sophisticated" housing scam that took place in Toronto. According to the court justice in Ontario, Justice William Wolski, and the reasons that he sentenced Kevin Sampson was because "There was nothing random in the targeting of these elderly people. It was designed ... (to take) full advantage of vulnerable people." When making the report on the case, the judge indicated that "The repairs to these fictitious vents, and chimneys, and roofs were never done" (Powell, 2018). It is an indication that Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were not only lying to the victims but also taking money for work they had not done.
Kevin Sampson pleaded guilty to a total of twenty-three counts of theft, fraud, criminal harassment, breaking and entering, unlawful in the dwelling and breaching his previous probation. Since Sampson had earlier been in jail because of fraud cases, he was not supposed to leave his state until the probation was over. However, he did not have a specific place he was residing as required by the law, which was part of breaking the law. The previous criminal record for Sampson dated back to 1991, showing that he was a criminal who always escaped without learning to behave lawfully once he was released. Wolski, the judge who was in charge of the case, sentenced Sampson for a period of four years, though fourteen months would be removed since he had earlier served a sentence.
Aimee Cipolla was also comprehended by the police on February of 2017. She pleaded guilty to a total of twenty-one crimes, which were similar to the ones Sampson had pleaded guilty too since they worked together. Cipolla was sentenced to fifteen months in prison. Cipolla testified against Sampson as part of her plea, under oath, where she admitted that the couple had committed the crimes they were being sentenced for. Sampson also pleaded guilty to the largest fraud he committed in 2016, where he took a total of 8000 dollars to a ninety-one years old woman who had mild dementia (Newsroom, 2017). Sampson had promised the woman that he would repair her roof since it was leaking but the investigation indicated that the roof did not require fixing at all.
To conclude, the penalties given to Kevin Sampson and Aimee Cipolla were fair though they could not pay for the lies these people had made to the vulnerable group they had chosen as their victims. I feel that the court could have added money penalties, so that it could be used to repay the victims, considering that most of them were aged and could no longer work. However, it is also necessary for the aged to be taken care off to avoid such cases of fraud happening to them again.
Bayview, S. (2017, August 31). Police arrest two in east end roofing, chimney fraud case. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from http://bayview-news.com/2017/08/police-arrest-two-in-east-end-roofing-chimney-fraud-case.html/
Bulldog, S. B. (2017, August 24). Police warn of roofing, chimney repair fraud in the east end. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from http://bayview-news.com/2017/08/police-warn-of-roofing-chimney-repair-fraud-in-east-end.html/
Newsroom, T. (2017, September 01). Police arrest man, woman in alleged roofing fraud scam in East York. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from https://www.toronto.com/news-story/7531839-police-arrest-man-woman-in-alleged-roofing-fraud-scam-in-east-york/
Powell, B. (2018, June 13). 'Despicable' fraudster sentenced to 4 years in prison. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/06/13/despicable-fraudster-sentenced-to-4-years-in-prison.html
Sidhu, J. (2017, August 30). Ongoing Roofing Fraud Investigation_ Man And Woman Wanted_ Update_ Kevin Sampson_ 41_ And Aimee Jayne-Ann Cipolla_ 35_ Arrested_ Face Total Of 26 Charges. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from http://www.publicnow.com/view/DB9B39A9C284D70C426F36212A7F2E534E9A7A24?2017-08-31-22:00:07 01:00-xxx1636
System. (2017, August 31). Police arrest man, woman in alleged roofing fraud scam in East York. Retrieved November 17, 2018, from https://article.wn.com/view/2017/08/31/Ongoing_Roofing_Fraud_Investigation_Man_And_Woman_Wanted_Upd/
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