Calgary

Chronic criminal denounced as 'queen of cons' by victim as she's sentenced in fake inheritance scheme

A woman who has racked up more than 100 convictions over two decades of lying, cheating and stealing was described as the "queen of cons" and a piranha-like "predator" by her latest victims as she was sentenced in a phoney inheritance scheme.

Jane Moore sentenced to time served, with 9 months probation

Jane Moore was wearing a mask as she left the Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary on Thursday after being sentenced to 457 days in custody. Because of credit for time served, she was able to walk away without having to spend any more jail time and will be on probation for the next nine months. (Bryan Labby/CBC)

A woman who has racked up more than 100 convictions over two decades of lying, cheating and stealing was described as the "queen of cons" and a piranha-like "predator" by her latest victims as she was sentenced in a phoney inheritance scheme.

Jane Elizabeth Moore was sentenced in Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary on Thursday to 457 days in custody.

However, because of credit for time served, she was able to walk away from the courthouse Thursday without having to spend any more jail time. Instead, she'll be on probation for the next nine months, and must also pay back $40,000.

Moore was initially charged with 399 counts of theft and fraud involving more than $350,000. In mid-September, she pleaded guilty to just one offence, a charge of fraud over $5,000.

She admitted that, in her latest plot, she told people she was about to inherit more than $36 million from a wealthy Calgary family.

According to one man, Moore claimed she was waiting for the inheritance from the family of the late Daryl (Doc) Seaman, a former owner of the Calgary Flames who died in 2009.

She convinced victims in the Strathmore area to hand over what the Crown said was hundreds of thousands of dollars over an 18-month period in 2016 and 2017, under the premise that it would all be paid back as soon as she received her windfall.

One of the victims, Maxine Bartelen, read three victim impact statements to the court on Thursday, including her own.

Jane Moore, shown in both images above, was initially charged with 399 counts of theft and fraud involving more than $350,000. In mid-September, she pleaded guilty to just one offence, a charge of fraud over $5,000. (Left, Rick McDonough/right, Crime Stoppers)

She turned directly to Moore, who was sitting in the prisoner's box. 

"You knowingly played out your well-established fraud game until we finally had to admit to ourselves that you are a lying, selfish, poor example of a human being, a complete detriment to society," said Bartelen.

"You are the queen of cons."

According to court documents, Bartelen and her husband suffered losses that amounted to as much as $170,000 in what they believed were loans to Moore. She had promised them to repay the money as soon as her inheritance came through.

Bartelen's victim impact statement described how she and her husband rented their farmhouse to Moore several years ago and she became a close family friend.

The relationship soured after only six months. 

According to Bartelen, Moore said the inheritance was being held up because the wealthy family didn't like Moore's boyfriend and she was not allowed to access "the infamous $38 million inheritance fund," Bartelen said in court. 

"Allowing you to rent our family farm is the worst mistake I ever made in my life."

Bartelen said she and her husband are unable to sell their Calgary-area property because they claim Moore put a lien on it. 

"It shows your vindictive ways and gives evidence to your lack of remorse for the crimes you have committed against us," said Bartelen.  

Bartelen read another victim impact statement from Dianne Gibb, who did not put a dollar amount on her losses.

Gibb said that she trusted Moore because she was her son's friend.

"I can see now that establishing trust is how you operate. You are a predator, much like a piranha."

"You stole from your friend's mother. Have you no conscience?" wrote Gibb, 64.

"How do you sleep at night, knowing that you have swindled so many people for so much money?"

Several of the alleged victims say they were too embarrassed and ashamed to speak publicly about falling prey to Moore's scheme.

Justice Barbara Johnston said she found Moore's actions "reprehensible" and the impact on her victims "profound."

Dozens of convictions dating back 17 years

Moore, who sometimes used the names Jane Seaman and Jane Norman, has been in and out of courtrooms in Calgary, Okotoks and Strathmore for years. 

Her first conviction was registered in 2003.

She was given a suspended sentence and put on probation for two years for fraud, uttering a forged document, failing to attend court and breaching a court order. 

There have been at least 100 more convictions since then, most involving fraud, uttering forged documents, fraudulent use of credit cards and theft.

Lying began in childhood

A sentencing report from one of her past convictions found Moore has a history of dishonest behaviour dating back to her elementary school days when she began stealing from and lying to classmates.

In the same pre-sentence report, Moore's adoptive parents said their daughter was addicted to prescription pain killers from 1995 to 2005. 

The report suggested Moore should be diagnosed with prominent traits of borderline and antisocial personality disorder.

Another court-ordered evaluation of Moore found she once told people she had leukemia.

The fake cancer was just one of the health lies she told her family. Moore also convinced her family she suffered from a deadly disease that caused bleeding from her eyes and ears. Moore eventually admitted she'd used needles to poke her eye, nose and ears to cause them to bleed.

At one point, Moore was married to a Calgary police officer. During the marriage, which lasted less than a year, she was convicted of impersonating a police officer.


Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at bryan.labby@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

About the Author

Bryan Labby

Enterprise reporter

Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at bryan.labby@cbc.ca or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.

With files from Meghan Grant

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