Tuesday, 25 June 2013

25 victims and counting....

 This hasn't been easy for me.  I am a fairly strong person but admitting that I was scammed and publishing the huge mistake I made for all to see has been taxing on me.  I am oddly okay with the money being gone - I've never been someone who lived my life based on money or material things.  But the part of this that has really stuck with me and bothers me is the psychological games he plays with his victims.  I have knowledge of at least 25 victims over the past 10 year period.  I have spoken with many past victims of Wes' since starting this blog and the theme is always the same.  After he steals your money he tries to convince you that he wants to change and that he has guilt and remorse for what he has done and will pay you back.  What I have noticed is that the people he picks to prey upon all have amazingly giving hearts and for awhile believe his story.  Smart women who then realize they have been robbed not only of their money but of their trusting natures.  It is hard when you have been taken advantage of to trust yourself again.

I have been thinking lately about how his children will feel when they see this blog someday.  I feel bad for them.  For those of you that know me, you know that children are a main focus in my life and I would hate to do anything that might cause them pain.  All I can hope is that by me writing this blog and informing people about Wes that it causes him to seek some help and stop his 20+ year run of victimizing people.  He hasn't learned any lessons in jail because the moment he is out he starts scamming people again.  I am not sure there is any therapy or consequence that will cause him to change his ways but I hope for his childrens' sakes that eventually he does.

He seems to have a lot of friends around town.  I am not sure if these people are aware of his scams or not.  But if they are, and they think that it just doesn't effect them and that he is otherwise a good guy, one day he will get desperate enough to screw them over too.   The pattern has been that the closer he is to a person the more he has scammed them.  You might be thinking that myself and the other people scammed by him deserve it in a way for being so stupid.  I guess that's true to a point - he is a master manipulator and most of his victims have very public careers and they are too embarrassed to reveal that they were taken by him.  Unfortunately he relies on that and has flown under the radar for a very long time.  When he does go to jail for his crimes he shows his true colors by returning to scamming people so quickly after release.  He is 43 years old and has had the same behaviour pattern for 25 years now.  Some people are capable of change but he hasn't proven that at all yet.  Here is an excerpt from a judges statement about that - you can see the full report at http://canlii.ca/t/1hm8f ;

[36]      Mr. Devries' criminal history commences in 1989 which, by my calculation, would be the beginning of his career as an adult criminal. It is unbroken since 1989. There are only two years where no convictions are registered, one of which he was in jail. By my count, there are 40 fraud, forgery and false pretence related convictions. There are 18 further property related offences, including thefts, possession of stolen property, including possession and theft of credit cards and obtaining credit by fraud. In addition, there are nine assaults, threatenings or harassment convictions. There is an obstruct a peace officer, in addition to the one he has pleaded guilty to; possession of a prohibited weapon; escaping lawful custody; several breaches of probation; two breaches of parole; and failures to appear.

[37]      He has also had the benefit of a conditional sentence order imposed in August of 2001. That conditional sentence was terminated in January of 2002. He spent 590 days in custody.

[38]      Of significance is that on April 16th of 1999 he received 27 months custody in relation to 14 counts of fraud and one breach of probation. There was a 15-month sentence imposed concurrently at that time, but he was also placed on probation for two years. So as of April 16th, 1999, then, for four years following, until April of 2003, he would have either been in jail serving a sentence for 14 counts of fraud and/or on probation. On August 8th, 2001, as I have indicated, he received a two-year conditional sentence order, again with respect to fraud over $5,000. That conditional sentence order was breached and he went back into custody. On June 11th of 2002, he was again convicted of four counts of fraud and received 10 months on each charge concurrent. He was released, as I understood the evidence, February 6th, 2003 and he was recommitting offences within a week. The first date he is alleged to have made contact with some of these victims is at Whistler in early February.

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