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Court exposes gambler's woe - Stripper convicted of $124,000 theft

Filed under: Press Release

Kelly Egan
CANADIAN PRESS

GATINEAU, Que. — She was a stripper. He was a gambler. But beautiful music they could not make, not after her hands were caught in his cookie jar.

In a Gatineau courtroom Thursday, Jose Samantha Dubreuil, 26, a blonde exotic dancer, was convicted of stealing $124,000 worth of sports betting tickets from Terry Leblanc, 35, one of Canada's most celebrated bettors.

Justice Bernard Dagenais, after pondering evidence for two weeks, was convinced the 25 winning tickets were not gifts to Dubreuil but, in fact, stolen from a metal cookie tin in Leblanc's bedroom.

The four-day trial was not only an expose of their relationship, but an astonishing look at the multimillion-dollar gambling enterprise run by Leblanc and his younger brother, Brian.

Court was told the Leblancs sometimes bet as much as $200,000 a day on sports lotteries such as Pro-Line in Ontario or Pari Sportif in Quebec.

Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Geraldine Castle-Trudel, Terry Leblanc, a former window washer, testified that since 1993 he and his brother had won an estimated $10 million on lotteries.

In their townhouse they had tens of thousands of old tickets, many of them stored in garbage bags.

Yet they lived modestly. They rented the townhouse for less than $700 a month, Terry drove a Dodge Neon and disciplined himself to spending not more than $200 a night at area strip clubs.

Early in 1996, Leblanc noticed Dubreuil dancing at Pigale, a club he visited often. After ordering table dances from her on a couple of occasions, the two struck up a conversation.

Soon, he was spending a lot more time and money on her. In April of that year, they began seeing each other outside the club and she was a frequent guest at his house.

While theirs was never a typical relationship, they did go to movies together, visit shopping malls and go out for dinner. The issue of money-for-time was constantly discussed.

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In matters of gambling, he may have been a genius, but in matters of romance, he was helpless
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Dubreuil would remind her boyfriend that it was expensive for her to spend so much time with him and away from her work.

Marriage was soon being discussed, but Leblanc testified the stripper wanted $175,000 in "security money" before she would entertain the idea.

They argued about the sum, but he bought her an $850 engagement ring, loaned her $2,000 to pay for a breast-implant operation and gave her $14,000 in cash, in four instalments.

"I liked her a lot," Leblanc told the court.

In matters of gambling, he may have been a genius, but in matters of romance, he was helpless.

Dubreuil was his first girlfriend. During the preliminary hearing in 1999, she kept winking at him and shooting him knowing looks, to the point he was overcome on the witness stand and fainted. At the start of the trial in November, she was asked to sit at the back of the court so she would not distract Leblanc.

Leblanc, who now lives in a $480,000 house outside Toronto, began having suspicions in June, 1996 that perhaps Dubreuil was tiring of the relationship.

Alarm bells went off when the brothers received a call from one of their regular retailers, asking them to pick up their portion of a commission cheque for winnings cashed. When they investigated, they found the winning tickets were missing from their tin.

As a trap, they put losing tickets in the container. The next time Dubreuil was over, the baited tickets disappeared again.

Dubreuil, meanwhile, never denied cashing the winning tickets.

She insists they were a gift and says she gave much of the winnings to her sisters.

She is to be sentenced June 18.

Related Topics:

gambling robbery stealing

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