Court rules family of B.C. woman who stole from health authority is liable

Judge finds that Wanda Moscipan siphoned more than $574,000 from Vancouver Coastal Health

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled a widower is liable for repaying nearly a quarter million dollars his wife stole from the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority before she died.

Court documents show Wanda Moscipan worked as an administer for both the authority and the University of B.C.’s faculty of medicine when she siphoned more than $574,000 from the authority between 2003 and 2011.

Justice Leonard Marchand ruled this week that the health authority is entitled to be paid back both by her estate and her husband, who was found to be responsible for the portion of the stolen funds that were used as “a family expense.”

In the ruling released online Wednesday, Marchand says her husband, Miroslaw Moscipan, must have had “constructive” knowledge that his wife was receiving funds through fraudulent means.

Moscipan told the court he was a stay-at-home parent “who led a frugal life.”

He said his wife was secretive with the family finances but he thought she made over $100,000 per year and received money from her father.

Marchand’s decision says the family led a “richer lifestyle than a typical family of four or five” owning multiple vehicles and spending about $20,000 a year on transportation alone.

The judge says the restitution on the part of her husband “is adequate to send a message to others that they do not stand to benefit from the misdeeds of others when they know or ought to know of ill-gotten gains.”

The decision says the woman stole the funds ”by having busy physicians sign blank cheque requisitions” that she directed to an account she controlled.

The account had been created in 1994 to raise funds related to the death of a colleague within the department, but was otherwise dormant until she began using it for fraudulent purposes in 2003.

She then used money in the account to pay herself, her husband and their son as well as write cheques for outstanding Visa balances held in their names.

The woman began working at the university in 1974 as a junior assistant and was appointed as senior administrator for the departments of obstetrics and gynecology under both the university and health authority in 1997. She was described as “extremely helpful” and viewed as “an indispensable and central figure” in the department.

The health authority was responsible for 80 per cent of Moscipan’s income while the university made up the rest.

After her cancer diagnosis in 2010, a new department head, Dr. Geoffrey Cundiff, became suspicious of her activities when she decided to continue working evenings despite having medical benefits. Her actions in the following months continued to raise suspicions.

“In one case, he had to hire a locksmith to access human resources and financial records which were in a locked filing cabinet. Ms. Moscipan claimed the key to the cabinet had been lost,” the decision says.

An audit was ordered in 2011, and it was discovered that Moscipan was paying herself 80 per cent of a full-time salary from the university when it should have only been 20 per cent.

It was also discovered she received a three per cent raise, which Cundiff testified he did not authorize.

A meeting was called between both employers and her union.

“Ms. Moscipan justified being paid 180 per cent of the salary of a full time employee on the basis that she worked so hard but acknowledged Dr. Cundiff was unaware of the amount she was paid.”

She was fired and a separate lawsuit has been filed by the university.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: Grade school students don’t have a voice during COVID pandemic

As adults weigh pros and cons of returning kids to school, is anyone asking kids what they think?

Harrison Festival Society: Jill Barber up next in Still Running Concert series

Three-time JUNO nominee is set to perform in Agassiz on August 15

Seabird Island COVID-19 ‘scare’ has passed, Chief states

Reaffirmation comes during Chief Harris’s weekly video address

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

Most Read