OTTAWA — A man who stole gold “pucks” from the Royal Canadian Mint by hiding them in his rectum to evade metal detectors has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Leston Lawrence, 35, was convicted of theft in November by Ontario Court judge Peter Doody, who noted in his ruling the case was based on circumstantial evidence. The judge said a penitentiary term was needed to deter others; Lawrence’s lawyer had argued for an 18-month sentence.
“While he was certainly in a position of trust which he breached, he was not a senior managerial official,” Doody ruled. “So, this is a blue-collar theft, not a white-collar theft.”
Doody ordered Lawrence to pay $190,000 in restitution. He has three years from the end of his full sentence to pay it, and if he doesn’t, he could be re-incarcerated for another 30 months.
Lawrence has already tried to raise money and will soon be coming into $20,000 from the sale of his home. He has also tried to recoup money he spent towards buying a boat in Florida and a house in Jamaica, court was told. At trial, Doody noted there was no video of Lawrence stealing the gold and no witnesses.
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