British Columbia

B.C. judge doesn't buy fraudster's 'absurd' story about being tricked by online sugar daddy

A Vancouver-area daycare worker who claims she was tricked into using fraudulent credit cards by a sugar daddy she met online has been convicted of seven criminal charges.

Jennifer Yvonne Thompson convicted of 7 criminal charges for defrauding TD of $195K

Jennifer Thompson claims she met a man named Warren through sugardaddy.com. (sugardaddy.com)

A Vancouver-area daycare worker who claims she was tricked into using fraudulent credit cards by a sugar daddy she met online has been convicted of seven criminal charges.

Jennifer Yvonne Thompson, a 29-year-old mother of one, does not deny using five TD Visa cards to defraud the bank of $195,059. But she argued in court that a man named Warren convinced her the cash would be her "allowance" for romantic services.

Provincial Court Judge Gregory Rideout roundly rejected that explanation, describing Thompson's testimony variously as "absurd," "incomprehensible" and "unbelievable."

"I do not find the accused to be a credible witness. I do not believe her evidence that she was essentially duped by a man she met online when she agreed to be his mistress. She misled the court," Rideout wrote in a judgment handed down on Tuesday.

He found her guilty of charges including fraud of $5,000 and unauthorized use of credit card data.

'She knew exactly what she was doing'

Thompson received each of the five credit cards after an unknown man called TD claiming to be the primary holder of a Visa, according to the judgment. The man would answer the security questions correctly, then ask for a secondary user to be sent a card.

In each case, the unknown man asked for the card to be issued to a woman with some variation of Thompson's name — things like Jennifer Thompson, Yvonne Thompson or Jennifer Thomson. The Crown argued that the fraudsters were trying to bypass the bank's fraud-detecting software by creating a unique profile for the secondary user on each card.

Thompson then maxed out the cards purchasing cash at casinos, ATMs and currency exchanges across B.C. and Alberta and destroyed the cards when she was done.

"She knew exactly what she was doing," Rideout wrote. "There were certainly others involved in this fraud, but she was a necessary link in perpetrating the fraud as an active participant."

Jennifer Yvonne Thompson used TD Visa cards to defraud the bank of more than $195,000. (The Associated Press/Elise Amendola)

But Thompson insisted that at the time of the crimes, from November 2015 to March 2016, she was desperate for extra money and hooked up with a wealthy Albertan named Warren through sugardaddy.com.

Though Thompson claims she had a relationship with Warren for eight months, she says they never actually met in person.

She told the court that after she was arrested and charged, she tried to retrieve her message history with Warren from sugardaddy.com, but he'd blocked her. She claimed she deleted all of their email exchanges because she didn't want her common-law partner to find them.

$130K withdrawn in 2 days

Thompson testified that when she first began chatting with Warren, he offered to send her a weekly allowance by certified cheque, but she didn't think that option was safe, so he proposed adding her as a secondary user on his Visa.

The plan was to use the card at casinos, because Warren's wife knew he gambled and wouldn't become suspicious, according to the judgment. The cash, Thompson claimed, would be used for "airline flights, casino gambling and hotel expenses."

At one point, during a trip to Alberta, she withdrew more than $130,000 from five different casinos in Calgary and Edmonton in just two days.

Thompson testified that she was supposed to meet up with Warren during that visit, but he couldn't get away from his family, so she agreed to mail him the money.

"It was incomprehensible that the accused would send such a large amount of cash in bubble wrap to a PO Box somewhere in Alberta to a man she never met, without at least making some inquiry questioning whether or not this was a good idea," Rideout pointed out.

He said Thompson's testimony failed to leave a reasonable doubt about what happened.

Thompson has yet to be sentenced. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 7.

About the Author

Bethany Lindsay

Journalist

Bethany Lindsay has more than a decade of experience in B.C. journalism, with a focus on the courts, health and social justice issues. She has also reported on human rights and crimes against humanity in Cambodia. Questions or news tips? Get in touch at bethany.lindsay@cbc.ca or on Twitter through @bethanylindsay.