Oshawa fraudster couple sentenced to prison for defrauding elderly church friends of $650,000

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Published December 7, 2021 at 4:33 pm

A married couple from Oshawa who plead guilty to fraud charges after lying about their children’s health to rip off senior church-goers have each been sentenced to years-long prison terms.

The couple, Robert Laraby and Senna Laraby, targeted fellow church members with claims that their children were deathly ill. They also managed to defraud the Shriners Club and at least one level of Government with their bogus claims.

Over a ten-year period, the Larabys claimed various ailments for their children including cancer, cerebral palsy, liver failure and seizures. They would claim these ailments cost them substantial time and money to garner sympathy from their mostly elderly victims.

After their arrest, police said the Larabys even dressed one of their kids in a hospital gown, wrapped their head in bandages and stuck a phony IV on the child’s arm to convince the victims. Other scams needed money to cover “adoption fees,” and a “defense attorney.”

Churchgoers handed over cash for the Larabys to pay the rent, buy groceries and even fund a new car.

Over the last two years, the couple focused much of the scam afforts toward a pair of sisters from Clarington –  Marilynn Manuel and Beverly Rankill – who are both in their 80s who repeatedly gave the pair money.

The Larabys, who the sisters considered friends, siphoned $650,000 from Manuel and Rankill. The sum represents the entirety of the sister’s life savings. In her victim impact statement, Manuel called the Larabys “disgusting, deplorable, despicable people.”

Sharing the fear of not being able to meet medical costs Rankill said Mr. and Mrs. Laraby “stole all our money… we cannot do many things we worked and saved for.”

The Crown requested a minimum five-year sentence and a $750,000 fine. Instead Judge Paul Burstein, in his decision November 30, sentenced Robert to three years in prison and Senna to two.

After their release, both will enter a three-year period of probation. They have five years after release to pay a $370,000 fine or they’ll return to prison for another three years.

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