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Media attention made life difficult, fraud artist tells St. John’s court

Don Cameron lowers his head to avoid media cameras during his appearance in provincial court in St. John’s last week. Cameron was back in court Friday, where he was sentenced to six months in jail for fraud, possession of stolen property and theft of a motor vehicle.
Don Cameron lowers his head to avoid media cameras during his appearance in provincial court in St. John’s last week. Cameron was back in court Friday, where he was sentenced to six months in jail for fraud, possession of stolen property and theft of a motor vehicle. - Tara Bradbury

Don Cameron sentenced to six months in jail

Don Cameron isn’t likely to include his list of criminal convictions on his next online dating profile, even though they are significant — more than 100 in total.
They also show variety, ranging from theft to sexual assault to child abandonment.
He’s probably not going to mention the 10 warrants he has in cities across the country, either — on charges of theft, fraud and more — or include his new temporary address: Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.
Cameron, 53, was sentenced Friday afternoon to six months in jail, after Judge Lois Skanes accepted a joint submission from Crown and defence lawyers.

Related story:
Fraud artist arrested in St. John’s


Cameron had pleaded guilty to charges of fraud under $5,000, possession of stolen goods and theft of a motor vehicle, but told the judge he was entering the pleas “reluctantly,” pressured to do so by “the media.”

Cameron was arrested early last week after he took a used car for a test drive all the way to the Port aux Basques ferry terminal. Police had already been looking for him for unrelated matters when the St. John’s dealership reported the car missing, the court heard.
The fraud and possession of stolen goods charges stem from a CBC News story that aired last fall. An Ontario woman told the network she had met Cameron on dating website Plenty of Fish and they were engaged to be married before he disappeared with her money, credit card and other items. She later found his dating profile active in St. John’s.
CBC matched the serial number on a camera sold by Cameron via Facebook to a Memorial University student to the serial number on the warranty, which the woman still had in her possession.
In court, Cameron said his life went downhill due to the attention from that news story and resulted in him being unable to find help in St. John’s for his anxiety and depression.
It eventually pushed him to steal the car, he said.
The court heard a victim impact statement from the Ontario woman.
Before being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, Cameron told Skanes he wanted to apologize to the car dealership, the man to whom he had sold the camera and “reluctantly” to the woman.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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