hi-ns-1740-robie

One student said she sent out a warning on the online classified site Kijiji for this house on Robie Street. Within one day said she had seven replies. (CBC)

A Bedford man who used to work as a landlord in Halifax has received an 18-month conditional sentence on fraud and theft charges involving several university students.

Cyrano Carette pleaded guilty in July to 13 counts of fraud under $5,000 and one count of theft under $5,000 after he was accused of sucking in unsuspecting university students with properties on Robie and Cedar streets in Halifax, just blocks away from Dalhousie University.

Victims paid Carette a deposit and first month's rent after seeing Kijiji listings for an apartment at the Robie Street building he was managing.

When they showed up on move-in day, they discovered other students had signed leases for the same apartment — but Carette was nowhere to be found and he could not be contacted.

Court heard Carette's victims lost a total of $14,882.66. He repaid most of them.

The 27-year-old man must serve nine months on house arrest, followed by nine months of a curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. There was a joint sentencing recommendation from Carette's lawyer and the Crown.

Halifax Regional Police began investigating Carette in 2012 and alleged he was also running rental fraud in buildings the city had declared unfit for human habitation. He no longer owns those properties.

Carette originally faced more than 100 counts of theft, fraud and making a false statement.