October 22nd, 2020

Man pleads guilty to 15 charges


By Shurtz, Delon on February 8, 2020.

Delon Shurtz

lethbridge herald

dshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A man charged more than a year ago for numerous criminal offences relating to stolen mail and personal documents in 2018 has pleaded guilty to 15 charges and could be sentenced when he returns to court next week.

Crown Prosecutor Lisa Weich recommended Thursday in Lethbridge provincial court that the accused, Kyle Anthony Blakely, be sentenced to two years in a federal prison, while Calgary lawyer Shaun Leochko argued for a one-year sentence with probation.

Judge Kristin Ailsby is expected to give her decision Tuesday.

Blakely and co-accused Tammy Judy Kotowski had pleaded not guilty to their respective charges May 3 and were prepared to stand trial. However, Blakely pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of mail theft, possession of credit card data, possession of other persons’ identity documents, fraud under $5,000, fraud over $5,000, using forged documents, identity fraud, attempted false pretenses and public mischief.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Weich told court Blakely had various documents that were stolen from numerous people and which he used to open bank accounts, obtain loans, buy a vehicle, cash cheques, obtain credit, and buy musical instruments.

He was finally caught after a series of events in which police became suspicious and contacted people Blakely pretended to be or knew. Police searched a Coaldale hotel room in which blakely was staying and seized a printer, six cellphones, five iPods, a wallet with various ID cards and documents belonging to other people, a guitar and case, government documents, mail belonging to other people, bank statements in other people’s names, and a spiral notebook with handwritten names, dates of birth, social insurance numbers, health-care card numbers, driver’s licence numbers, phone numbers, addresses, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, email addresses, user names and passwords.

Police also found a 2016 Volkswagen Tiguan that had been fraudulently purchased using stolen documents, and found inside the vehicle a flatscreen TV, more mail and numerous documents, including a City of Lethbridge utility statement, collections letters for unpaid accounts, and account statements.

Court was told Blakely also lived with a friend for a time during the winter of 2018, but when Blakely unexpectedly moved out, the friend continued to receive credit card applications addressed to Blakely. The friend also received mail in his own name from CIBC, which included a debit card; however, the friend didn’t bank with CIBC and had not applied for the card.

Police seized Blakely’s desktop computer, which he had left at his friend’s house, and found photographs of documents belonging to other people, including an Alberta health card, an operator’s licence from a wallet reported stolen in August 2018, social insurance cards, and a tattered birth certificate belonging to Blakely.

Police also found on the computer a resume, fraudulent bank documents and account statements fraudulent pay stubs and fraudulent operator’s licences, all in Blakely’s name.

Although Blakely pleaded guilty to 15 charges, police initially charged him with nearly 100 offences. Kotowski faces more than 50 charges, but her case was adjourned Thursday pending Blakely’s sentencing.

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