An identity thief who took a wrong turn to the Canada-U.S. border south of town this summer was sentenced Thursday to one year in jail.
Kuch Hengleap Khun, 37, pleaded guilty to one count of identity theft in connection with his arrest Aug. 12 at the Osoyoos border crossing.
Court heard he accidentally tried to enter the U.S. from Canada and was subsequently turned over to Canadian authorities after he admitted his mistake.
In the process of clearing Mr. Khun to re-enter Canada, border guards discovered a “large cache” of fraudulent documents in his vehicle, Judge Michelle Daneliuk said in her reasons for sentence.
Those documents included identification cards bearing Kuhn’s photo and different names and dates of births, credit cards, credit card applications, bank statements and mortgage papers – “to list just a bit of the variety of what was found,” Judge Daneliuk said.
Mr. Khun told the court he obtained the documents through an internet site that used people like him to perpetrate frauds.
“For his efforts, he was making considerable amounts of money on a weekly basis,” said Judge Daneliuk.
“Fortunately for the general public, and Mr. Kuhn more directly, I have no evidence before me of actual financial loss having been suffered by anyone as a result of his conduct,” the judge added later.
Mr. Khun, who resided last in Alberta and has 12 known aliases, has a criminal record for similar offences and in 2005 was sentenced to a year in jail for fraud over $5,000.
Once he’s finished his latest sentence – which was reduced by 81 days’ enhanced credit for time served – Mr. Khun will be on probation for 18 months.
Conditions of his probation include not possessing identity documents in anyone’s name but his own.
— Penticton Herald Staff