Nova Scotia

Woman facing 117 fraud-related charges goes to court

A woman who goes by several names made her first court appearance on 117 fraud-related charges Wednesday.

A Halifax woman who goes by several names made her first court appearance on 117 fraud-related charges Wednesday.

Even those in the justice system who've dealt with Lesa George have had a lot of trouble keeping track of all her aliases.

"Lesa George/Lesa George Worth/Lesa Jergen is a fairly smooth operator," said Crown Prosecutor Rick Woodburn.

"She's a good talker. She's entrapped very smart people in the past, and she's a high risk to the community as it stands right now."

Woodburn got a conviction against George in 2008 when she defrauded a Bedford Bank of Montreal branch for a car loan.

She obtained a car loan of $38,000 to buy a new vehicle from Steele Mazda, but to qualify for the loan, she told the bank that she was vice-president of operations for a company called Oka Consulting, made $92,000 a year and owned a townhouse on Peruz Court in Bedford.

She was actually working in a dentist's office earning $11 an hour.

The townhouse she claimed to own was actually owned by someone else and had a mortgage attached.

She also has outstanding small claims cases, other criminal matters, and a civil decision against her from Pictou County in 2006, where she ripped off one man, and was ordered to repay $175,000.

The latest 117 charges are yet to be proven. They include allegations she defrauded a homeowner for months of rent.

 Bud Webster, a landlord of the Bedford home in which George was arrested, said his latest tenant was articulate, well-dressed and professional.

"She told me a bunch of stories and convinced me that she was the right person to be the tenant," said Webster."She said 'I'll give you the first month's rent and the last month's rent in cash, so that way there's no mistake about the money.'  That's what hooked me."

That was the last money Webster received. He said all the rent cheques she wrote him were from an empty account.

The crown attorney said as a result of publicity surrounding these latest charges, more people have contacted police, and more charges are possible.

"Certainly a risk to anybody she may have come in contact with.  She's very smooth — we know that from the past and she presents herself well."

Because Woodburn opposed her release on these latest charges, George will stay in jail until her next court appearance later this month.