Phony Kootenay crane inspector sentenced
A man who admitted to fraudulently inspecting cranes and other heavy equipment around the Kootenays has received an 18-month conditional sentence to be followed by 30 months probation.
During sentencing in Cranbrook on August 22, Paddy Gene Doherty, 39, was also ordered to pay $34,160 in restitution to 25 companies he swindled.
Crown spokesman Neil MacKenzie says the sentence is what prosecutors were seeking.
The conditions include house arrest for the first six months except as approved by a supervisor for work, medical, or legal reasons, MacKenzie added.
Doherty was also ordered not to inspect any crane, hoist, or lift, and not present himself as a person qualified to do that testing. If he obtains certification that would let him do such inspections, he can apply to review that condition.
No time limit was set on the restitution payments.
Doherty, a one-time Fruitvale resident, was originally charged in March 2011 with 49 counts of fraud, forgery, and uttering forged documents in Nelson, Creston, Waneta, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Golden, Fairmont, Sparwood, Rock Creek, and Invermere.
He was accused of inspecting commercially operated cranes, forklifts, and garage hoists without valid certification at 27 businesses during the first half of 2009, and defrauding them out of $40,000 in inspection fees.
Doherty's certification expired at the end of 2008. Some equipment he approved failed re-inspections.
Police said the charges were the result of a complaint from an engineer, whose forged signature and stamp Doherty used, as well as "the tenacity of one RCMP investigator."
Doherty pled guilty on April 2 to one count involving each victim. The Crown stayed the remaining counts.
Doherty also admitted last month to unrelated charges of uttering threats and obstructing a police officer in Elkford last year and received one day in jail and a $500 fine.