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

Penticton Vees on four-game streak after 2-1 win against Salmon Arm Silverbacks

The Vees head to West Kelowna Tuesday, before coming home Friday to battle the Merritt Centennials.

Update: Individual successfully rescued from hills above Penticton

An individual became stranded earlier this morning.

First VegFest of the South Okanagan coming to Penticton

The festival is scheduled for Aug. 23, with speakers and entertainment all day.

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Kelowna’s Tess Critchlow gears up for World Cup at Big White

Critchlow is a professional snowboarder competing for Team Canada in the boardercross competition

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Update: Highway reopens after crash west of Revelstoke

Drive BC also reported a vehicle incident 10 km east of Golden.

Most Read