Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Woman in car-fraud scheme waffles on plea

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A Queen's Bench judge told a young woman caught up in a massive vehicle-insurance fraud scheme to stop listening to family and friends and take the advice of her lawyer.

Kaela Leigh Perry had just entered guilty pleas Wednesday to six counts of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud when she told Justice Chris Martin she felt "pressured" to admit her guilt and she'd be more comfortable going to trial.

Crown and defence counsel told Martin that Perry, 26, had been talking in the hallway to the mother of her former boyfriend -- who had already pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme -- and she was wavering on how to proceed.

Martin said Perry should refrain from listening to friends and family, who he called "armchair quarterbacks" who do not grasp the intricacies of the law and her situation.

Perry was one of dozens of people arrested in a massive investigation into what was described as the largest vehicle-insurance fraud scheme in the province's history.

Between 2005 and 2009, high-end luxury cars were brought in from Ontario, their odometers rolled back and sales arranged to individuals who participated in staging phony accidents and thefts -- all in a bid to secure insurance claims.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2013 A10

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