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Man who posed as teen is in custody

Canadian who lived in S.L. faces fraud charges

Kenneth Herbert Blair Lickiss
Kenneth Herbert Blair Lickiss

A Canadian man who lived a bizarre double life in Utah posing as a high school teen is now in custody on financial fraud charges after being on the run from authorities for three years.

Kenneth Herbert Blair Lickiss, 35, was arrested in Washington and extradited to Utah where he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Dec. 2.

He was charged May 10, 2001, in 3rd District Court with four counts of falsely making, encoding or signing a financial transaction card, three counts of unlawful use of a financial transaction card, two counts of forgery and one count of theft.

Those in Utah who know Lickiss, however, remember him as 15-year-old Scott Davion, a purported homeless boy from California who went to live with a Salt Lake family for 4 1/2 years.

In 1994, a Salt Lake resident named Jessica met "Scott" while serving an LDS mission in Santa Monica, Calif. He told her he was a homeless boy with no family or education.

Jessica, who asked that her last name not be used, and her family were accustomed to helping others and had taken people into their house before. She told Scott to go to her mother's house in Utah.

Over the next four years, Jessica and her family helped Scott get a Social Security card, baptized him into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and even sent him to high school. In school Scott got exceptionally good grades at both Taylorsville and Cottonwood High Schools, especially for a supposedly uneducated, homeless youth. He also dated several high school girls during that time.

What the family didn't know was that Scott was really a native of Lethbridge, Canada, and was already a member of the LDS Church, having served an LDS mission in Poland.

Lickiss' double life began to unravel after he began working at a computer store in Sandy. In 1998 he got job as a corporate salesman at Elite Systems.

In 2000, the company discovered Lickiss had allegedly been buying computers using other customers' credit cards and then selling them. His alleged fraud and forgery scheme totaled an estimated $100,000, according to court documents.

Lickiss reportedly left Utah for Canada before police could arrest him, police and other sources said. None of his previous acquaintances in Utah have seen him since, and most said they never expected to see him again.

"I was shocked," Jessica said of her reaction when she saw on TV that he had been arrested. "He definitely looked older and heavier."

Likewise Toni Woodbrey, whose daughter, now 25, dated Lickiss in high school, said she was surprised to hear Lickiss risked traveling back into the United States. But she said she's glad he's in custody.

"He needed to be caught," she said. "What surprised me about him was how he hid his identity for four years. I was surprised he could get away with it like he did."

Lickiss was reportedly working at a tire store in Mason County, Wash. He apparently told a co-worker what he had done, who in turn called police in Utah, local police authorities said. The Mason County Sheriff's Office picked him up and detained him for Sandy investigators.

Lickiss was captured just days before he planned on moving to Hawaii, according to Mason County police.

Woodbrey said her daughter is still upset about what happened and has no desire to ever see Lickiss again. Her daughter is worried, however, that she may have to face him in court to testify against him.

Jessica said Lickiss is a very smart person who could have done anything he wanted and earned a lot of money legally.

"He's hopefully going to pay the people back now. Hopefully justice will be sure," she said.

Although she's glad he's now in custody, Jessica said she doesn't hold any anger against the man whom at one point was like a brother.

"I've been lied to in the past. I just help people regardless of what happens," she said. "I'm not bitter. I'm sad that he did this. I'm sad he just didn't come forth and say, 'Hey, I'm Kenneth from Canada and want to start a new life.' "


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com