Kijiji rental property scammer pleads guilty again in Calgary court

Patrick Miller scammed a prospective renter out of a damage deposit while under house arrest for doing the exact same thing.

Miller's victim total now at 14

This is the home in the southwest community of Wildwood that Patrick Miller pretended to have available for rent. (Meghan Grant/CBC)

While Patrick Miller was under house arrest for scamming prospective renters out of their damage deposits — he scammed a prospective renter out of his damage deposit.

The serial scam artist pleaded guilty to another fraud charge on Thursday, bringing his total number of victims in the last several years to 14.

Miller is known for offering to rent a property — 112 Windermere Rd. S.W. — on Kijiji and collecting a damage deposit from interested renters.

But Miller never let them move in, citing emergency renovations.

In this latest case, Miller refused to return the victim's money until the man threatened to go to police. But it turns out, the cheque Miller provided the interested renter was no good.

"I am sorry about all this," said Miller in court. "To be honest, I didn't even know the cheque bounced."

In January 2014, Miller pleaded guilty to a fraud involving 13 victims between June and July 2011. In September 2014, CBC News published a story after several people complained Miller had taken money from them but never allowed them to move in.

Miller has been in custody since December when police allege he breached the conditions of his previous sentence, which required him to obey a curfew and to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

Defence lawyer, Andrea Urquhart told the judge Miller had a gambling problem at the time of his crime and that his finances "spiraled" out of control.

Three other fraud charges were withdrawn by Crown prosecutor Darren Maloney on Thursday.

The judge accepted Maloney and Urquhart's proposal of a 60-day sentence on the latest fraud charge as well as a year of probation. He must also pay his victim back $2,700.

"He is anxious and willing to pay the victim back," said Urquhart.

His five breach charges will be dealt with in February.