Photo: Castanet Staff
A repeat Kamloops fraudster who was “double-dipping” when he bilked the federal government in an employment insurance scam has been sentenced to jail and ordered to pay $6,000 in fines.
Donald Edward Connolly, 52, pleaded guilty in Kamloops provincial court on Tuesday to six counts of making a false representation to the Canada Employment Insurance Corporation.
Court heard Connolly was employed working construction jobs when he fraudulently collected more than $6,300 in EI payments in 2017 and 2018.
Connolly has been convicted twice in the past of lying to fraudulently obtain EI payouts.
In 2019, he was fined $12,000 and sentenced to four months of house arrest after pleading guilty to six counts of the same charge. In 2016, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of the same charge after fraudulently obtaining $9,300 in EI, and was ordered to pay $7,000 in fines.
“It does show a pattern of conduct,” federal Crown prosecutor Chris Tait said in court Tuesday.
Tait said Connolly has not paid any of his fines from his previous two convictions, with $19,000 still outstanding.
Kamloops provincial court Judge Ray Phillips sentenced Connolly to 30 days in jail for the “double-dipping” and ordered he pay $6,000 in fines.
“Mr. Connolly was not entitled to employment insurance because he was working,” the judge said. “But in his declarations to the program he indicated he wasn’t working, and in doing so he defrauded the Government of Canada.”
Phillips sentenced Connolly to intermittent jail, meaning he will serve his sentence on weekends.
Connolly was upset with that and stormed out of the courtroom, asking aloud how he would get to Kamloops Regional Correctional Centre each Friday afternoon.
Phillips warned Connolly that the next sentence would represent another step up.
“It’s ending you up in jail now,” he said.
“There’s a lot of money that you owe and you’re starting to learn your lesson. Don’t do it again.”
A deputy sheriff followed Connolly out of the courtroom and cautioned that his sentence would likely be converted into straight jail time if he failed to show up to KRCC.