A woman accused of impersonating a nurse in Vancouver could soon be taking up prison residence in B.C. and has retained a Vancouver lawyer to fight fraud charges.
Brigitte Cleroux is currently in prison in Ontario for a seven-year sentence after pleading guilty to seven charges earlier this year, including assault, assault with a weapon, fraud and impersonation.
Those charges and conviction came after parallel Ottawa Police Service and Vancouver Police Department (VPD) investigations, which found the Gatineau, Que. woman posed as a nurse to treat patients in Ontario. She's accused of doing the same in B.C.
In Vancouver, Cleroux faces charges of fraud over $5,000 and personation with intent to gain advantage. However, there is also civil court action running in tandem with B.C proceedings and completed Ontario ones.
She appeared before Vancouver provincial court Judge Wilson Lee on Nov. 24. The judge heard Ontario lawyer Ron Guertin withdraw from the B.C. file.
Guertin told Lee he continues to work on getting Cleroux transferred to B.C. He said organizing such transfers is a slow process.
Cleroux’s new B.C. lawyer is Chris Johnson for whom Lisa Monchalin appeared before Lee.
She said disclosure has been requested from Crown but said files on only two of 17 charges have been received. The case is 352 days old, according to the court docket.
Multiple charges in two provinces
However, in a Vancouver provincial court hearing May 19, Crown prosecutor Kathryn Ford said a trial Crown lawyer has been assigned to the case and is making a decision on other charges. That process continues, Ford told Vancouver provincial court Judge Gregory Rideout on June 23.
The initial charges were approved in November after the VPD launched a months-long investigation. The investigation was spurred by reports of a BC Women’s Hospital employee allegedly fraudulently identifying herself as a nurse between June 2020 and June 2021.
VPD’s Financial Crime Unit found a woman had allegedly fraudulently used the name of a real nurse while providing medical care to patients at the hospital.
In Ottawa, Cleroux was charged on Aug. 23 with offences, including:
- obtaining by false pretence;
- uttering a forged document;
- assault with a weapon;
- criminal negligence causing bodily harm; and
- personation to gain advantage.
Ottawa police began their investigation after being told a woman had used aliases and assumed the identities of registered nurses that she fraudulently obtained. Nursing duties were allegedly carried out by Cleroux at a medical and dental clinic in the nation's capital.
“Some of those duties included the administration of medications, including injections, to patients,” Ottawa police said.