Ex-bureaucrat guilty of fraud
Scandal prompted B.C. government to tighten criminal-record checks
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.
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