British Columbia

Dead wife's fraud costs B.C. man nearly $250K and the family home

The widower of a woman who stole more than half a million dollars from Vancouver Coastal Health has been ordered to give up his interest in the family home and pay nearly $250,000 in restitution.

Wanda Moscipan misappropriated $575K from Vancouver Coastal Health; UBC alleges she also defrauded it of $667K

Wanda Moscipan worked at Vancouver General Hospital for more than two decades.

The widower of a woman who stole more than half a million dollars from Vancouver Coastal Health has been ordered to give up his interest in the family home and pay nearly $250,000 in restitution.

Miroslaw Moscipan's wife, Wanda, amassed a small fortune by misappropriating funds at the tail end of her two-decade career as an administrator at Vancouver General Hospital, according to a B.C. Supreme Court judgment.

Between 2003 and 2011, she defrauded Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) of $574,647, Justice Leonard Marchand wrote Tuesday.

Marchand's judgment found Miroslaw Moscipan liable for "his knowing receipt" of the proceeds of his wife's misappropriations, even though he had only "constructive rather than actual knowledge" of the fraud.

The fraud

Wanda Moscipan accomplished the theft mainly by asking busy doctors for blank cheque requisitions, which she placed into an account she controlled, according to the judgment.

She used some of that money to support her stay-at-home husband and three children and to pay for vacations and the purchase of 13 vehicles over the years, including cars, SUVs and motorcycles.

The fraud was uncovered in 2011, but Wanda Moscipan died of cancer the next year. VCH filed suit against her widower to recover the funds.

At trial, Miroslaw Moscipan told the court he had lived a frugal life and had no knowledge of his wife's fraud. But he also admitted that his spouse had been secretive about her finances; he said he suspected she was receiving large amounts of money from her father to support their lifestyle.

The Moscipans own a home in North Vancouver. (Google Maps)

The judge said he believed Wanda Moscipan had pulled the wool over her husband's eyes, given that she was "obviously adept at fooling people close to her regarding financial matters."

But even so, Miroslaw Moscipan should have realized that something was off, in part, because his wife's siblings didn't appear to be enjoying the same apparent windfall from their father, Marchand wrote.

The judge's decision requires the widower to give up his 50 per cent interest in the family home in North Vancouver, currently assessed at $1.49 million. He will also have to pay $246,073, his estimated benefit from his wife's scheme.

A 2nd lawsuit from UBC

And there may be more still to come for the widower, because Wanda Moscipan's alleged fraud did not end with the money she stole from VCH.

Her family also faces a lawsuit from the University of British Columbia, alleging she defrauded the school of more than $677,000.

While she was working at the hospital, Wanda Moscipan was a joint employee of VCH and UBC. She was supposed to receive 80 per cent of her pay from the health authority and 20 per cent from the school.

Instead, her supervisors discovered she was actually being paid as a full-time employee of the university, and her total salary added up to 180 per cent of an equivalent worker's, according to Marchand's judgment.

The university's suit, which includes other allegations of fraud, has yet to be heard.

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