A man who has pleaded guilty to 25 counts of fraud and forgery faces a sentencing hearing August 22.

A man who has pleaded guilty to 25 counts of fraud and forgery faces a sentencing hearing August 22.

Phony crane inspector admits Kootenay swindles

A man charged with fraudulently inspecting cranes and other heavy machinery throughout the Kootenays has pled guilty to 25 counts.

A man charged with fraudulently inspecting cranes and other heavy machinery throughout the Kootenays has pled guilty to 25 counts.

Paddy Gene Doherty, 39, is due in court in Cranbrook on August 22 for a pre-sentencing report.

The one-time Fruitvale resident was 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.

It was alleged he inspected commercially operated cranes, forklifts, and garage hoists without valid certification for 27 businesses during the first half of 2009, and in doing so, defrauded them out of $40,000 in inspection fees.

Doherty’s certification expired at the end of 2008. Some re-inspections failed equipment that he approved.

Samantha Hume, a spokeswoman with BC’s criminal justice branch, said Doherty pled guilty on April 2 to one count involving each victim. The remaining counts are expected to be stayed at sentencing.

He also faces trial in Sparwood in August on unrelated charges of assault, obstructing a peace officer, and failing to appear in court, and in November on charges of break and enter and mischief at Elkford.