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Woman facing dozens of fraud-related charges appears in court, identity questioned
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:18PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 15, 2013 6:30PM MST
A woman who has faced fraud convictions in Canada and the United States appeared in court Tuesday, for a bail hearing, however, the Crown is questioning whether her name, truly is hers.
Caron Oderbien appeared in an Edmonton courtroom Tuesday for what was supposed to be a bail hearing.
However, the Crown Prosecutor questioned whether Caron Oderbien is her real name – as she has gone by a number of aliases in the past.
Police said Oderbien conned dozens of military families out of money in the Edmonton-area.
“The situation has been painted to impact on people’s feelings,” EPS Staff Sgt. Dan Service said. “It’s particularly repugnant when military families or people who are already victimized are victimized a second time.”
CTV News learned of the charges laid against the accused through court documents – currently, Oderbien is facing a total of 83 charges, 80 charges for theft under $5,000 and three for theft of about $5,000.
Many of the charges are related to dozens of people who lost $40 each to Oderbien.
Documents also revealed thousands of dollars was taken from West Edmonton Mall, and a number of area hotels.
“It was a Friday night,” Crystal Vea, general manager at the Coliseum Inn said in a phone interview. “[She stated] she needed a reservation, her company was paying for her, she was a legal aid – and I checked her into a room.”
Vea spoke to CTV News about her encounter with Oderbien in July, 2012 – the hotel claimed they took the cheque they were given to the bank the following day.
“They told me immediately the cheque was no good, went up to the room, she wasn’t there,” Vea said. “[We] contacted the city police because her child was in the room, because her child in the room was probably ten years old.”
The accused has been the subject of investigating by W5/CTV News in the past, after people came forward and claimed she lied and stole money from them.
It’s believed she came to Edmonton a couple of years ago, started up a new charity for what she called a memorial garden for fallen soldiers.
Back in 2010, she said in an interview with CTV News that she hoped to start work on a memorial garden in the coming months – its work that has not begun, and there’s no sign of the money that was raised for it.
Court documents also revealed she was convicted of fraud twice in the United States in 2004.
She also has convictions of fraud and forgery in New Brunswick dating back to 1992, alongside a long list of civil litigation in Manitoba, where a number of individuals, her own lawyer, and a bank sued her.
Police would not say if Oderbien was arrested in Edmonton on the latest charges.
However, the EPS Economic Crimes Unit said it was the work of one officer who refused to give up on the case that led to the charges.
Oderbien remains in custody, and is scheduled to make a court appearance next week.
With files from Brenna Rose