PEI

Former UPEI student jailed for fraud

A former UPEI student was sentenced Tuesday to one week in jail for a computer scam he set up using the university's computer system.

Used university computer system to run scam

A former UPEI student was sentenced Tuesday to one week in jail for a computer scam he set up using the university's computer system.

Steven Mitchell Colp had a reputation as something of a computer whiz, and that's what helped land him a summer job at the university booking summer visitors into rooms and collecting payment.

The court heard that Colp started stealing from the university this past July, after he graduated and moved to Calgary.

Colp still had access to the UPEI booking system, and he used that access to write phony emails requesting refunds on behalf of people staying on campus, the court heard.

He also altered visitors's credit card information so their refunds went to his card.

In all, he did it six times over a three-week period, taking a little more than $4,200.

Crown attorney John McMillan called it a serious breach of trust.

"He was put in position of trust because of his computer expertise and he used that computer expertise to commit the offence," McMillan said outside court.

Defence lawyer Ian Bailey had asked for a conditional discharge — that would have saved Colp from jail time and a criminal record.

But Judge John Douglas said Colp deserved jail time just like anybody else and sentenced him to seven days.

Colp, now a graduate student in psychology at the University of Calgary, wept in court and told the judge that he's sorry. He has also paid the money back, as well as expenses of UPEI.

In handing down sentence, the judge said good people sometimes do stupid things. Douglas said he sees it all the time in court, and Colp is one of those people.