BC employee pilfers $1.9 million; blames 'toxic' workplace | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Cloudy  17.5°C

Vernon News

BC employee pilfers $1.9 million; blames 'toxic' workplace

Image Credit: Shutterstock

A BC woman who stole $1.9 million from the company where she worked for 23 years has been ordered to pay the money back plus $100,000 in punitive damages.

According to a May 16 BC Supreme Court decision, payroll assistant Domenica Fazio pilfered $1,923,820 from B.A. Blacktop and Eurovia BC where she worked for 23 years.

The theft took place over a six-year period where she made 885 unauthorized payments from the company to 19 separate bank accounts she'd set up at four different banks. It appears she resigned after being caught in 2021.

"While in a position of trust, Ms. Fazio perpetrated a deliberate, methodical, and exploitative fraud on the plaintiffs by using her knowledge and expertise as a payroll administrator and payroll supervisor to transfer large sums of moneys (sic) over six years into bank accounts she owned and controlled," Supreme Court Justice Gary Weatherill said in the decision.

The Justice goes on to call Fazio's scheme "fraud, misappropriation, conversion and deceit."

However, while her former employee has won a civil case against her it doesn't appear that Fazio has been criminally charged with fraud.

The decision says Fazio gambled all the money away after developing a gambling addiction has no assets or income and is in poor health.

There is no mention of any remorse on Fazio's behalf and in a filing to the court she doesn't deny the fraud and instead accuses the company of harassment, sexual harassment, overwork, and "general mistreatment" during the more than 20 years she worked there.

"She did not set out any valid reasons why the plaintiff's claim against her lacked merit. The focus of her response was instead on allegations of a toxic workplace and various forms of mistreatment by the (company)," the decision reads.

The decision says Fazio's bank accounts were frozen after the fraud was discovered but doesn't say how much money, if any, was in the accounts.

Justice Weatherill went on to say Fazio committed a serious, "protracted, sophisticated, and deliberate fraud" that required denunciation.

"A message must be sent to those who are placed in a position of trust over corporate funds such as Ms. Fazio here, namely that if you steal from your employer, the consequences will be severe," the Justice says.

He then awards the company $100,000 in punitive damages.

Whether the company will see any of the more than $2 million it is now owed remains to be seen.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2023

  • Popular kelowna News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile