Ex-bu­reau­crat guilty of fraud

Scan­dal prompted B.C. gov­ern­ment to tighten crim­i­nal-record checks

Times Colonist - - Front Page - ROB SHAW [email protected]­colonist.com

A for­mer B.C. gov­ern­ment em­ployee forged his crim­i­nal-record check and de­frauded the gov­ern­ment by hid­ing his crim­i­nal past to get a job, a judge has ruled. Judge Loretta Chap­eron found Richard Wain­wright guilty of forgery and fraud Mon­day in a Vic­to­ria pro­vin­cial court­room. The case against Wain­wright in­cluded tes­ti­mony about how he al­tered a crim­i­nal­record-check form to use a last name that didn’t flag his pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions.

A for­mer B.C. gov­ern­ment em­ployee at the cen­tre of a hir­ing scan­dal forged his crim­i­nal-record check and de­frauded the gov­ern­ment by hid­ing his crim­i­nal past to get a job, a judge has ruled.

Judge Loretta Chap­eron found Richard Wain­wright guilty of forgery and fraud Mon­day in a Vic­to­ria pro­vin­cial court­room.

She said the case against Wain­wright, which in­cluded ex­pert tes­ti­mony about how he al­tered a crim­i­nal-record-check form to use a last name that didn’t flag his pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, was com­pelling.

“The Crown’s case is cir­cum­stan­tial but the ev­i­dence pre­sented is quite sim­ply over­whelm­ing,” she wrote in her decision, re­leased to the Times Colonist.

Wain­wright was con­victed of fraud, coun­ter­feit­ing and pos­sess­ing stolen iden­ti­fi­ca­tion in Kam­loops in 2004.

He ap­plied for a B.C. gov­ern­ment job two years later. The gov­ern­ment re­quired a crim­i­nal-record check. At the time, Wain­wright was still serv­ing a con­di­tional sen­tence from his con­vic­tions.

It’s clear Wain­wright knew hav­ing a crim­i­nal record would bar him from be­ing hired, the judge wrote.

So he used two dif­fer­ent names to get out from un­der that record, the judge wrote.

Wain­wright took the crim­i­nal-record check un­der the clean sur­name of Per­ran, for which he also had a so­cial in­sur­ance num­ber, pass­port and driver’s li­cence.

Then he al­tered the form to read Richard Ernest Wain­wright-per­ran and sub­mit­ted it gov­ern­ment, said the judge.

Wain­wright was hired by the gov­ern­ment and worked his way up to a su­per­vi­sor’s po­si­tion in the Min­istry of Chil­dren and Fam­ily De­vel­op­ment be­fore his two driver’s li­cences, with dif­fer­ent names, were flagged by the In­sur­ance Cor­po­ra­tion of B.C.’S fa­cial-recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy.

He was ar­rested in­side a gov­ern­ment of­fice in April 2009, but kept his job un­til Oc­to­ber while the gov­ern­ment tried to get in­for­ma­tion about the case from po­lice. Then he was fired.

The case be­came a public scan­dal for the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment, and led to strength­ened crim­i­nal­record checks for civil ser­vants.

The gov­ern­ment man­ager who hired Wain­wright tes­ti­fied he would not have done so were the con­vic­tions known.

Wain­wright’s de­fence lawyer had ar­gued his con­vic­tions weren’t on a list of of­fences rel­e­vant to em­ploy­ment, and that he didn’t in­tend to de­fraud the gov­ern­ment by not dis­clos­ing them. Chap­eron dis­agreed. Wain­wright, who ap­peared via tele­con­fer­ence from Kam­loops, where he now lives, showed lit­tle emo­tion at the rul­ing. He told the judge he re­mains un­em­ployed and is liv­ing with friends.

Wain­wright’s sen­tenc­ing is set for June 13.

Tony Hunt: “This one is dif­fer­ent be­cause my grand­fa­ther did the first one. ... I’ll be us­ing the tools he made for me.”

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