Man fined $17,500 for Employment Insurance fraud

Campbell River truck driver cashed in on benefits while he was working

A Campbell River truck driver has been fined $17,500 for bilking the federal Employment Insurance (EI) program.

Leslie Oxbury, 55, pleaded guilty to 35 counts of making a false claim and was fined $500 for each count on March 19 in Campbell River provincial court.

In addition, he was sentenced to six months house arrest and must abide by a 8:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

“You understand that if there’s another one of these, there will be real jail time,” warned Judge Peter Doherty.

Oxbury works part-time as a truck driver for Wacor Holdings. Starting in March 2006, Oxbury was laid-off from his job, applied for EI benefits, began receiving them, but then returned to work while still accepting benefits.

This continued for at least a couple years, noted federal prosecutor Paul Corbett, who added that Oxbury has been on EI seven times and has received four administrative penalties.

On one occasion, Oxbury was laid-off, applied for benefits and then returned to work two days later.

Through his fraudulent claims, Corbett said Oxbury received a total of $22,652 from the federal government.

Oxbury intends to pay off the fine in $200 monthly installments. Judge Doherty gave him a year to pay.

The judge also suggested Oxbury apply for an extension next year, but only if he’s repaid a substantial amount of the fine.

Oxbury represented himself and had nothing to say.

As part of his curfew, he cannot consume alcohol or illegal drugs.