A smooth-talking huckster from the North Shore will face three-and-half years in prison for buying a fleet of luxury vehicles and a boat with close to $500,000 in stolen credit card information.
Kaymar Jahanrakhshan, 32, learned his sentence for 40 charges of fraud, possession of property obtained by crime, and possession of stolen credit cards in B.C. Supreme Court Friday morning.
Justice Greg Bowden said the sophisticated planning that went into the fraud between 2008 and 2009 merited jail time at the higher end of the Crown's request for three to four years. A lengthy sentence was the only way to deter Jahanrakhshan and other wouldbe fraudsters from similar crimes in the future, he said. Bowden noted Jahanrakhshan didn't seem to be remorseful for his actions.
Jahanrakhshan first came to police attention when he went on a shopping spree in 2008, buying seven high-end vehicles, including two BMWs, a Mercedes, a Cadillac and a Lexus as well as a Sea Ray boat valued at $126,000 - all on credit cards registered to banks in foreign countries. By the time the financial institutions discovered they'd been duped, Jahanrakhshan was long gone. When police caught up with him, they also found blank credit cards and a machine for embossing names and card numbers in his home.
All but two of the vehicles were eventually recovered. Several of the defrauded banks sent victim impact statements asking for a stiff sentence, noting that credit card fraud costs banks hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
Jahanrakhshan's crimes also made victims of the people in other countries whose identities he stole, and car dealers who were ensnared in the fraud, Bowden added.
Bowden said he also had a duty to send the message that Canadian courts take credit card fraud seriously, especially when securing convictions for international fraud is so difficult to do.
"We do not want to be seen as a haven for people who would act like the offender," he said.
Bowden also ordered Jahanrakhshan to pay back just over $250,000 in restitution to seven banks in New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates and England, as well as submit a DNA sample for police records.
Jahanrakhshan, who mostly represented himself in court, had asked the judge for a conditional sentence, meaning no jail time and the chance to have the charges kept from his permanent record.
The judge also noted that Jahanrakhshan showed no evidence that he has a legal means of supporting himself.
Jahanrakhshan will have to serve his three-and-half year sentence on top of a six-month sentence for obstruction of justice previously handed to him. Jahanrakhshan was convicted in that case after contacting a number of the banks he was accused of defrauding posing as an RCMP investigator. He persuaded some of the banks to fax him copies of their affidavits that would later be used in his fraud trial.
He failed in an attempt earlier this year to convince the judge to give the vehicles bought on phony credit back to him. Jahanrakhshan had argued the cars were seized by police without a search warrant. Bowden flatly rejected that on the grounds that Jahanrakhshan purchased them with stolen funds, and had no right to them in the first place.
After being handed his sentence, Jahanrakhshan was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.
He was back in court just two hours later to apply for bail pending his appeal of the fraud conviction. That hearing has been adjourned until July 18.