A Port Coquitlam credit card thief will spend the rest of the year in jail after pleading guilty in provincial court to his crimes.
On Friday, a provincial court judge sentenced Alvin Chand, 44, to one year in jail and one year probation after he plead guilty to a global charge of possession of identity information for the purpose of fraud.
Chand was arrested by Coquitlam Mounties in January and has spent seven months in custody while his case made its way through the courts. He will spend five more months behind bars to serve out the rest of his sentence.
According to the agreed facts of the case, the trouble for Chand started on Sept. 5, 2012, when he was pulled over by police in Langley.
He gave cops a forged driver’s licence and was subsequently found to have forged credit cards in his wallet at the time.
A week later, Chand was pulled over by police in New Westminster after he fraudulently rented a vehicle.
He was once again found with two forged credit cards.
Chand was finally picked up for good on Jan. 16 of this year after local RCMP raided his Port Coquitlam home where he lived with his mother.
In what was described as a “credit card factory” in court by the Crown, investigators seized a number of items that included credit card printers, a laminator, gold foil and an embosser.
Police also found forged postal keys, stolen computers and six stolen point-of-sale terminals, commonly known as Pinpads.
Investigators also seized 250 stolen ID’s and credit cards.
At the time, Chand was facing a number of charges that included possession of a stolen firearm, possession of instruments used in forging or falsifying credit cards, possession of identity documents of another person, and possession of stolen or forged credit cards.
“Mr. Alvin Chand is well-known to us,” Coquitlam RCMP said in a statement at the time of his arrest.
“This successful investigation has disrupted the local identity theft ring and virtually stopped this ‘fake credit cards factory’ from running.”
Chand was convicted of a similar offence back in 2011.
But defense lawyer Sarah Jackson pointed out there were a series of events that led to Chand’s downward spiral.
His lawyer explained her client’s life fell apart in 2005 after he lost his job with Telus, his father died and his truck was totalled in a hit-and-run, all within a short amount of time.
Jackson said Chand, who was born in Burnaby, fell in with the wrong crowd and started using crystal meth.
His lawyer suggested his crimes were a result of an attempt to feed his addiction.
She noted Chand has been working toward rehabilitation and has been clean from drugs since his incarceration.
Judge Bonnie Craig also ordered Chand to continue to take drug counselling following his release from prison.
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