A country songwriter, who was convicted of defrauding a Chinese immigrant of almost $200,000, is heading to jail after failing to sell a song.
The judge had given John Hillary McLeod a week to raise more money to pay back the victim. McLeod proposed selling one of his songs. McLeod wasn't able to and was ordered today to pay $121,000 in restitution to the victim.
On his web page, McLeod describes himself as a former bush pilot from The Pas, Man., who began pursuing a music career full time in 2006 after triple-bypass surgery. He has recorded two albums and made music videos to promote singles such as Lazy Vampire.
$140,000 and a new Chrysler
"John McLeod came across a woman, a Chinese immigrant, new to the country," Crown prosecutor Robin Ritter said in an interview earlier this week.
"She speaks English, but does not read or write English. He befriended her and convinced her that she could invest with him in a scheme to buy land from Hutterites, flip the land and make quite a bit of profit."
Ritter said that, over the course of a year, McLeod kept taking the money from the woman on the pretext he needed it to develop the land.
After getting more than $140,000, he persuaded her to spend another $50,000 to buy him a new Chrysler.
"He said he could get her money back if she would buy him a car so that he could go and get her money," Ritter said.
The land deal never happened, however, and McLeod was eventually charged with two counts of fraud — for the money and for the car. He was convicted on both counts at trial.