Friday, 11 October 2013

Would like to reunite ladies watch with its owner....

Are you a victim of Wes Devries?  Are you missing a high-end ladies' watch?  It probably happened in late April or early May of 2013.  Please email me at wesscammedmetoo@hotmail.com and describe it and we can reunite you...


UPDATE: Was able to reunite the owner of this watch with its owner!  Small victory but I am hoping it gives someone a small bit of closure...

Friday, 4 October 2013

Wes Devries sentenced to 3 years


Court today was... interesting.

It started off with the prosecutor handing the defence attorney 5 victim impact statements, including mine.  I was in shock when Wes' attorney said 'This is a courtroom, not a therapy session'. She also said that the victims were 'just a bunch of angry women'.  I understand trying to defend your client, but I felt that the comments this woman said were so disrespectful not only to the victims, but to the court as well.  She was fully aware we were sitting within earshot.  The judge reminded her that everything she was saying was on record and if she wanted to have a private conversation she should take it outside.  


Wes entered the courtroom in his red outfit and he snuck a peak at the victims sitting in the courtroom but quickly looked down at the ground.  His lawyer had requested that he be able to sit beside her at the table rather than in the glass-enclosed booth.  His pants were too big for him and he was wearing black socks with white slip-on shoes.  Wes always wore the highest end clothes and I hope he hates that outfit.


The prosecutor read through the 15 counts in the information and gave a brief summary of each.  


1. female victim defrauded for $3200

2. female victim defrauded for $200
3. vancity savings - defrauded for $3100
4. myself - defrauded for $2700
5. female victim defrauded for $2000
6. female victim defrauded for $1500
7. female victim - charges stayed (not proceeding)
8. female victim - theft $3000 value
9. north shore credit union - Wes had deposited 5 empty envelopes and withdrew $14,698
10. female victim - defrauded of $10,000
11. victim #10 - theft 
12. female victim - posed as a handyman to commit theft
13. bike store - stolen bicycle valued $3000
14. male victim - used cheque stolen from another victim to defraud $770
15. bike store - stolen bicycle - charges stayed

After the summary of the charges the prosecutor wanted to submit the 5 victim impact statements.  The defence attorney wanted to be allowed to read them over before submitting them to the judge.  We adjourned for lunch and had awhile to reflect on all the happenings of the morning.  What stuck with me the most was how little regard the defence counsel had for the victims.  It felt like she was purposely trying to get a reaction from us.  I would never treat another human being with such disrespect.  


When we came back from the lunch break we came in and sat down.  The defence attorney was thumbing through our victim impact statements and singing, 'Cry Me a River'.  Wow!  Couldn't believe that she had topped her morning comments.  Disgusting behaviour!


When court resumed she started out by objecting to the statements being submitted.  She said they were of no relevance, no value and highly prejudicial.  She said they made references to how Wes should be sentenced and that was inappropriate.  I wish I could have told the court that nobody in the judicial system told us to write victim impact statements, never mind gave us any directions on how to complete them.  As the victims, we took it upon ourselves to let the court know how Wes' criminal behaviour had affected us.  The prosecutor didn't fight for them to be entered but instead summarized them by saying that the  same sentiments were expressed in all the statements; all the victims felt betrayed, used, doubted their own judgements and had financial and emotional hardships as a result of their dealings with Wes.  This seemed satisfactory to both sides but I really wanted my statement to be a part of the record.  At the end of this I will post my own statement for you to read.


The defence counsel started her submission by saying that the police didn't want to pursue this matter and that any charge on its own wouldnt have stood a chance in court.  She said that Wes wanted to plead guilty and accepted the full burden of responsibility.  Then she went off on a tangent about how the unsecured loans and the money pushed at Wes was the issue.  He had met the manager of a bank at a hockey game and was asked 'What can I do for you?'.  She ranted about banks for a few minutes and then the judge interrupted her, 'You're surely not arguing that, are you?'.  She was trying to argue that the problem was that the banks trusted people.  Blame the institution, blame the victim....


She moved on and gave a history of Wes Devries.  He was born in Montreal. He was adopted at a young age.  His family moved to Kamloops when he was 7 and he blames his unhappiness there on being bi-racial.  His family members are successful, well-adjusted members of society.  Wes moved east at some point and had a short-lived marriage.  He then had a relationship with a woman from the states and had a child who has been mainly raised by the mother and her family.  He then married another woman in Vancouver and had a daughter with her.  The lawyer said that this woman and Wes openly communicate and have a good relationship.  I know that this woman says in public that she is embarrassed by Wes and wants nothing to do with him but this confirms what I already know about her - she supports him and the only reason I can imagine that she maintains a relationship with him is that she gets some financial benefit from it.  I am sure that Wes has emotionally manipulated her and that she is a victim of him as well.  I hope that one day she gets the strength to break free from him, if not for her own sake then for her daughters.  Wes is the worst role model a female could have - he has absolutely no respect for females. Next the attorney went on to list Wes' skills; he is an excellent cook, a wonderful companion (had to muffle my laughter at that one), knows a lot about wine and likes to eat at fine restaurants.  She said his best skill is finding female company.  She said he meets female company that want to please him on all levels including giving him money.  I sat there shaking my head.  Unbelievable!


The defence they then offered up was that Wes has an undiagnosed mental condition that compels him to defraud people.  She said there is obviously something wrong with a person who does this over and over and over again.  He admits to betraying people by asking them for money knowing he is not going to pay them back.  He also admits that he gets a certain high by taking people's money and things.  He keeps most of his frauds under $5000.  They requested that there be a psychiatric assessment.  They asked the court to move away from punishment and look at rehabilitation for Wes.  She gave an odd example of a cat that plays with you but can't help but swipe at you because although they can be domesticated they remain predators.  But a person can be changed and become a viable member of society.  She said society would be best served by rehabilitation because segregation hasn't worked.  She said Wes has been very cooperative with the police, was happy to get arrested and didn't like being alone.  They asked for a sentence of 2 years less a day and 3 years of probation.  The judge ordered a recess and said she would come back at 4:00 with her decision.


We went downstairs for coffee while we awaited her decision.  When we went back into the courtroom I felt sick.  I realized that I was not going to be satisfied with either of the options laid out before the judge.  Even if she was to sentence him to the full 3 years that the prosecution asked for it wouldn't amount to him spending very much time in jail.  It hit me that this is going to be a part of my life forever.  Every time he scams someone and they google him they are going to find me.  And  I will help them with as much information as I can.  There is no chance that Wes is not going to be back scamming people when he is released... it's only a matter of when.  


It seemed like a very long time waiting for the judge to come back.  She read through the counts again and then gave her sentencing.  Wes had used seduction and trickery to defraud people.  He had trolled the internet and in a short period of time he had charmed women and secured their trust.  He had devised a pretext to fraudulently secure banking.  His life of crime began when he was 19 and since then he has a deplorable history of fraud, forgery, theft and assault.  He wines and dines his targets and then uses and abuses their trust.  He takes gross advantage of the natural want for love that human beings feel.  He has proven himself to be a predator and chronic recidivist.  His actions are based on his greed and his victims on their generosity and trust.  A self diagnosis by a convicted conman of a mental condition would hold no weight in this court.  She said she was imposing a severe sentence to hold him accountable for his reprehensible behaviour.  He was ordered to pay all the victims restitution except for the thefts and to submit to a DNA order.  He stood up and said in the spirit of fairness he would admit that the bracelet he stole had a value of $2000 and he didn't object to that amount being added to the restitution orders.  He may as well have said that the bracelet was worth 10 million dollars because there is no chance of him ever voluntarily paying any restitution.  There are very few victims ever paid back any money and the only reason that they were was to prep them for a larger scam.  The judge then sentenced him to 36 months in a federal prison.  He had already been in for 2 months and since he is only required to serve 1/3 of the sentence he will be out in approximately 10 months.  If he was ordered to serve his time consecutively he would be in jail for 37 years.  But that is not how the Canadian justice system works.  


I expected to feel happy when Wes was sentenced.  I expected to feel relieved or at least a sense of it being done with.  Instead I feel like it is a ticking time bomb and I am just waiting for him to get out.  He will resume his life of scamming people.  I will resume my life of looking over my shoulder and being nervous and anxious all the time.  I am sure some of his other victims feel the same way but I feel especially uneasy because I am the one who has been so public about everything.  He is unpredictable and he doesn't show any remorse.  I can sleep a bit better while he is in jail but that will all change once he is released.


Here is a portion of my victim impact statement that never got to be heard in court so I thought I would make it part of my own public record.




As a victim of fraud perpetrated by Wesley Devries, I have gone through a whole array of emotions.  I have felt embarrassed and ashamed that I was so foolish in my decisions regarding him and as a result fell victim to his scam.  I have a hard time trusting my own instincts after misjudging Wes so badly.  After the scam, I felt emotionally manipulated.  The ensuing interactions with the accused caused much frustration and left me feeling intimidated, angry, distrustful, threatened, scared, anxious, nervous and uneasy.  I spent many sleepless nights worrying about the unpredictability and capabilities of the man who scammed me.  I felt slightly safer after installing an alarm system and hiding all my valuables at a friend's house.  I kept all my windows and doors closed and locked all summer long.  I sometimes parked my car a few blocks away, worried about retaliation in the form of vandalism.  When I did start to sleep regularly again I slept with my phone beside me, ready to call 911 if he broke in.  From the research I had done on him, I didn't find much information on him having been violent, but the things he had said to me, as well as the time he showed up at my house close to midnight, definitely left me feeling intimidated.  I checked in with friends or family every single night so someone knew I was home safely.  In the mornings I would be nervous to go to my car.  I would be on edge every time I was in a neighbourhood I knew him to frequent.  Even now, when I see someone on the street that resembles him I automatically panic and then have to calm myself down and remember that he is currently incarcerated.  After coming forward about being scammed, I have found it hard to deal with the judgements people have placed on me.  

As a result of Wes’s criminal and fraudulent actions, I have lost $3370 of my money. I feel it is only just and fair that he repays me this money and request that he is ordered to pay me restitution. I would like to see a time frame put on this requirement in that he is required to pay a set monthly amount to me and to have repaid it within a two year time frame. I would also like assurance that if repayment is not made that there will be suitable consequences. His past history has shown a complete disregard for court orders and I think that should be addressed.

In terms of my personal safety and security, I am asking the court to impose a condition that he not be allowed to have contact with me, nor attend where I work or reside. I would also like to be notified of his release and of any bail or parole/probation hearings.

This whole situation has been emotionally draining for me. For three full months it consumed my entire life as I spent countless hours dealing with my bank and the police. It was exhausting and many times I felt completely overwhelmed. Luckily I am a strong person to shoulder that responsibility. As scared and drained as I was, I kept moving forward and stayed focused on not letting this happen to anyone else. I have never had any dealings with criminal matters and at every step was met with frustration - especially dealing with someone who knew how to commit fraud and other crimes and for the most part have them fly under the radar. Having heard from other victims from as far back as 20 years ago I have found out the true impact of the crimes of Wes Devries has caused others. I hope the courts will take the negative impact Wes’s actions have caused for me into account and ensure that I am financially compensated for his criminal actions.

And here are links to the Province's articles;

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Exclusive+Interview+Fraudster+Devries+found+easy+scam+women+online/8979526/story.html

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Scammer+victims+last+laugh+Devries+sentenced+three+years+prison/8979593/story.html


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Seeing Wes Devries in court today...

I had never been to court before.  I wasn't sure what to expect and I definitely was feeling uneasy about seeing Wes and how that would leave me feeling.  Almost an hour after he was scheduled to appear the big TV screen in the courtroom turned on and there was Wes, in an orange jumpsuit and his thick rimmed hipster glasses.  He sat there quietly surrounded by a grey cement background.  I had mentally prepared myself to look him in the eyes but was relieved that he was appearing via video.  I wasn't sure what he could see of the courtroom but if he could see the last row of the otherwise empty courtroom he would've seen the reporter from the Province and me. I was sitting there with a slight smirk on my face writing every detail of what was being said between the prosecutor and his lawyer.  There was not much information shared about charges and the matter was put over until Tuesday of next week.  After court, Dan and I went upstairs to the registry and got the information for the upcoming charges - 14 in all.  And I know of at least 6 others that could've been included in this set of charges but for one reason or another weren't.  Some people admitted to being scammed by Wes Devries but didn't want to report it to the police for their own individual reasons - either too embarrassed or just wanting to leave it behind them.  I completely understand that and there is definitely a part of me that wanted to crawl under a rock and hide from all of this.  But I am just not the type of person that could let this go.  Good or bad - I am 'all-in'.

Seeing Wes was oddly therapeutic for me.  I had been nervous and on edge but seeing him confined to the small space of the correction centre's video room made me feel empowered.  I helped put him there.  No designer clothes.  No stupid hats.  No gourmet meals or expensive nights out on the town using money he had scammed from people.  But the best part for me is knowing that he won't be able to get the 'rush' he says he gets from scamming while he is there. And even if it is just for a short period of time, he is off the street and unable to victimize any more people for awhile.  I think that Wes being behind bars is the only way to stop him from scamming people.  He has been to jail before for very similar crimes and has almost always gone right back to scamming as soon as he is out of jail.  Obviously the punishments that he receives for his wrongs are not enough to deter him from doing wrong again.  When he gets out this time (hopefully years from now) he will probably just change his name slightly so people can't find out what type of person he is right away and then continue his usual pattern of deceiving people for his own selfish gain.

On a positive note, I have met some very inspiring and amazing people on this journey.   Ladies - your courage in coming forward and sharing your stories with me (and the police) has provided me with the strength to continue moving ahead with it all.  You have been my support system and I never feel judged by any of you because I know that you understand how Wes uses his charms to manipulate people.  We will all be smarter and stronger women because of this experience and you have each added to my life in your own unique way.  And to the men who have come forward - I commend you.  I realize that as hard as it is for a woman to admit that she has been scammed, it is doubly hard for a man to admit that.  I know that there are many more men out there that Wes has scammed who haven't come forward and I would encourage them to rethink that.  It is super important that people are made aware of the full scope of how many different ways Wes has to scam people.  Anyone out there that has been scammed by Wes or knows someone that has been scammed by him I would still love to hear from you.

A special thank-you to Dan Fumano of The Province newspaper - without you and your coverage of this I don't think any of this would have moved forward the way it has.  You have been absolutely amazing and your continued interest and pursuit of this story has helped make people aware of Wes Devries.  Together we have all put a huge dent in his potential victim pool.  And I would like to say thank-you to the VPD for all of their hard work to make sure that the case against Wes was thoroughly investigated and resulted in 14 charges against him.  I know that the publicity didn't make that job any easier and I really appreciate all the long hours put forth.  And to L.C. - your courage to speak out and let other women know about Wes was the main reason I came forward and shared my story.  I really don't know what I would have done had I not known about Wes having scammed you.  You are my hero and I don't think you get enough credit for your bravery.  And in getting to know you as a friend since this incident your positive outlook on life is so inspiring.  Even though we met under the worst of circumstances I am so happy to have you in my life.

Thank-you again to all the amazing people in my life who have supported me through this - I know there have definitely been times when you were concerned for my safety and my well-being and you still supported me.  It has made this whole experience much easier to go through knowing how many people I have around me that love and support me.

Lisa




Friday, 2 August 2013

Arrested!

I will write a full post on this later tonight but thought I should put a link in to the article at least....

http://www.theprovince.com/news/vancouver/Serial+scammer+behind+bars+following+undercover+police/8739383/story.html

Thank-you to everyone for all the love and support during all of this.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Update on Hurricane Wes Devries


 So much has happened since the articles in The Province Newspaper;

http://www.theprovince.com/news/could+talk+fleas+messed+with+wrong+girl/8612967/story.html

http://www.theprovince.com/news/Police+mount+investigation+against+alleged+scammer/8618362/story.html

Just found this and thought I would share:

 http://bb.nsmb.com/showthread.php?p=2768370

Apparently since we have put a dent in the potential victim pool for his 'dating' scams he had to move on to other things.  Here are a few more things to keep in mind, not necessarily about Wes but in general;

- Be very careful who you allow to access your house, anyone from a new friend or potential love interest to a handyman or possible buyer of your goods from craigslist.  Once someone has access to your place they can easily assess what is valuable and where it is kept.
- Secure all bikes when leaving them unattended, even if it is for a short period of time.  I would suggest that you even lock them up when inside a secure area such as a garage
- It is ALWAYS a bad idea to do any financial favors for any reason for someone you don't know very well.  But if you happen to be so 'stupid' to do this, as I was, be aware of what your bank's policies are. Because of my ignorance in banking lingo and no clarification given by 2 different RBC reps I was scammed for $2700.


I have decided that since I have done more towards warning people about Wes Devries than I ever thought I could that it is now up to the universe to balance out all the wrongs he has done.  For awhile I felt like this whole situation was taking over my life...  and while I realize that it is going to be a super long and frustrating process until this is all concluded, my head is in such a better place than it was even a month ago.  It's hard to admit that I misjudged someone.  It was definitely hard to put my giant, costly mistake on display for everyone to judge me on.  It was hard to read the comments about how 'stupid' I am.  It was hard to forgive myself for making the mistakes I made in this whole situation.  And I will fully own those mistakes.  But I have also learned from those and in the process I have also learned a lot about myself and how strong and persevering I am.   And how many more other strong women are out there too.


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Hurricane Wes Aftermath

I have heard from a lot of people who have had interactions with Wes deVries.  I asked some of them to write about how their experiences with Wes left them feeling.  Here are a few of the things people had to say:



Since meeting Wesley John  de Vries,  my life has been a nightmare that I wouldn't wish on anyone. How do you say crappy in a million different ways? I now suffer with insomnia & sleepless nights ,  fearful mornings & angry thoughts.  My extreme anxiety has also resulted in a rash from head to toe that  wakes me up at night and throughout the day that causes me to scratch myself until I bleed.   My thoughts constantly swarm around the same thing daily...how could I have been such a fool and be conned  so easily? What was it that he said that drew me in and caused me to lose all forms of rational thinking?  I can't answer that. It's how he conducts himself to appear charming, caring, funny,  educated, friendly and convincing. And  now, I wonder how can I ever believe & regain my trust in others?
He gained my trust, killed my soul and destroyed my spirit.
And I really wonder when my life will regain any sense of normality.
I'm not hopeful it's anytime soon.


This guy is a thief, liar and a manipulator.  He preys upon women and seeks out vulnerabilities and needs to go back to prison.

I too was privy to Wesly's manipulations and charms in building trust and then taking advantage of a vulnerable situation. 

 I was so ashamed, embarrassed and devastated, I thought my world was crumbling around my head and I didn’t want to tell them because I knew what I had done was so stupid, and I was now in this messed up situation.  I couldn’t think, I was so overwhelmed, tired and basically cried out.  I was so sad that I had lost, in a snap of circumstances, a person that I had deep feelings for, my trust, and money, that I couldn’t afford to lose.  I was also completely devastated that someone who I had trusted had groomed me so easily and effortlessly over the past month and even though I had twinges of misgivings he was able to smooth those over so I felt comfortable leaving those misgivings in the background. 



Wesley didn’t get the best of me and I was able to let him go with that last payment.  I trusted that the Universe would take care of him.  I was spiritually in a different place.  Once again I have changed and grown, I have learned hard lessons to get to the place where I am now in my life.  It has been a challenge to get beyond Wesley but I am getting there.   I am stronger than him.
Please don’t be afraid, embarrassed, or ashamed.  This has happened to the best of us.  No one is immune no matter what judgments or opinions they hold.  It is so important to come forward if this has happened to you by Wesley or anyone else, male or female.  There are so many people who have had this experience.  The more people who can come forward, specifically against Wesley in this case, and are willing to make a report, the higher the chances that a solid case can be made against him.  We are there to support you.  We need to unite and put our voices out there and heal from the ‘Hurricane’ that is Wesley DeVries.


I wish Wes was more who he seemed to be and less who he turned out to be.  He did seem great; he seemed funny, charming, interesting (definitely interesting) and had a lot of other good qualities.  He has so many talents; great chef, handyman, knowledgable on numerous subjects.  But that is just his outer persona, not who he actually is.  Even after he stole my money he was still really charming and I found myself wanting to give him every chance in the world to prove to me that he wasn't a bad person.  I wanted to help him become who he could be if he wanted to change.  But he doesn't seem interested in changing.  It seems like he enjoys the thrill of conning someone and watching them suffer because of something he has done.  He always had excuses why he would pay me another day.  Finally I stopped listening to the excuses and now he's fallen off the earth.  I guess that's better than having to continually deal with his mind games and lies. He knows how to emotionally manipulate people. I am still looking for closure but I think that just may be something I have to find within myself.