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A Stirling man who pleaded guilty last month to defrauding a Lethbridge company of more than half a million dollars won’t be sentenced until nearly halfway into the new year.During a brief hearing Tuesday in Lethbridge provincial court, an agent for the accused’s lawyer said a date for Stephen James Evanson’s sentencing hearing had been scheduled for May 22, 2018.
Evanson pleaded guilty Nov. 26 to a single count of fraud over $5,000 for claiming $541,370.77 in false commissions from Schwartz Reliance Insurance Company and Registry Services, where he was employed as a licensed insurance broker.
The fraud began in 2007 after Evanson no longer received a salary and commission, but commission only. That first year Evanson reported he had earned a commission of $68.88 stemming from a request to cancel an insurance policy from a customer. Instead, he entered a renewal and collected the commission.
The amounts of falsely claimed commissions rose from there, and in 2008 he claimed $5,790 in commissions, followed by $23,508 in 2009; $59,751 in 2010; $71,794 in 2011; $58,618 in 2012; $68,453 in 2013; $81,839 in 2014; $81,104 in 2015; and $88,440 in 2016.
After filing his false reports each month, Evanson deleted his fraudulent entries from the computer and the system no longer reflected the inflated dollar amounts he claimed to have earned.
Schwartz was alerted in September 2016 when Evanson failed to enter a reduced premium in the computer system upon a client’s request. Evanson had also created a fake client account and claimed to have sold insurance to a local business when he had not. The following month the company questioned Evanson and he confessed.
Evanson’s bank records show the money was used for car payments, mortgage payments, credit card payments, insurance payments and to pay for the day-to-day living expenses for he and his family.
Read the full story over at the Lethbridge Herald.
Read our previous story about the investigation here.