Port Alberni impersonator will serve two years of federal time

The man who impersonated a First Nations chief and scammed Port Alberni residents out of hundreds of dollars has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Robert Bennett Peters was sentenced in Port Alberni provincial court on Wednesday for two counts of fraud under $5,000.

Peters pleaded guilty to the charges. One of the charges was for defrauding the Royal Bank for $680. The bank wired money for him to pick up at a branch in Nanaimo. Another fraud charge was for scamming a Port Alberni resident for $300.

Peters called and impersonated Tseshaht Chief Hugh Braker, making up a story that he needed money to help a friend’s sick and dying child.

Peters has a lengthy history of similar crimes, with dozens of previous fraud charges – impersonating a high-ranking official – spanning 30 years, said Crown prosecutor Gordon Baines.