'Exchange bandit' gets 6-year sentence
A Bay Street financier who robbed several banks in order to feed a gambling addiction has been sentenced to six years in jail.
Kevin John Pinto, a compliance officer at Paradigm Capital, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of robbery in court on Sept. 16. The heists netted him more than $33,000.
Police dubbed Pinto the "Exchange Bandit" because he usually inquired about U.S. exchange rates before slipping bank tellers a note demanding cash.
Pinto, who earned a six-figure salary while with Paradigm, turned himself in to police in October 2008 and has been in custody ever since.
Before delivering the sentence, Justice Sheila Ray said Monday that bank robbery was a serious crime that requires deterrence. Taking into account time served, for which he will get double credit, Pinto now faces an additional three years and 10 months in prison.
Prosecutors were seeking a prison sentence of seven to nine years.
Pinto's lawyer blamed the robberies on his client's gambling problem and pushed for him to be allowed to go free, given that he has already spent 13 months in custody. Pinto carried more than $100,000 in debt, said lawyer Calvin Barry.
The robberies began in January 2002 at a number of financial institutions across Toronto and the Peel region. The last one took place in September 2008 at a Toronto Scotiabank branch on King Street West.
Pinto was also ordered to undergo counselling for his gambling addiction and pay back the $33,000 he got from the robberies.