Quadriplegic: ‘I didn’t believe anybody was going to rip me off’
A quadriplegic senior told police she felt “betrayed” by a lawyer accused of dishonestly taking more than $80,000 from her.
In a videotaped police interview, recorded at her home two years before her death, Kirsten Badenduck told officers she had not given Nancy Vieira permission to make cash withdrawals from her bank account.
Ms Badenduck told officers that Ms Vieira never showed her copies of her bank statements and that she had never asked for them.
“I was too trustworthy,” she said. “I just didn’t believe that anybody was going to rip me off.”
In the video played before the Supreme Court jury, Ms Badenduck said that she had loaned Ms Vieira $50,000 to help her secure a junior partnership at the firm MacLellan and Associates.
She said: “She said it was to pay for a partnership, a junior partnership in her firm.
“She never showed me a copy of the promissory note. She told me she had made a promissory note. She never left a copy for me.”
She told police that while Ms Vieira was supposed to manage her affairs, she had failed to pay her caregivers on time, pay for their social insurance or renew one of the caregiver’s work permits.
Ms Badenduck told police that she did not want Ms Vieira to be charged criminally, but asked if she might receive some disciplinary action under the abuse of seniors legislation.
Asked about her desire not to pursue criminal charges, she said she did not want to go to court and added: “My memory isn’t so good.”
Ms Badenduck also told the court that while Ms Vieira treated her well “when she showed up”, she did not show up very often.
The court were also read a written statement by Ms Badenduck’s doctor, who confirmed that she had her “full mental capacity” up until her death in 2019 and had no cognitive impairments when she gave the police interview in 2017.
Ms Vieira, from Pembroke, has denied charges that she dishonestly obtained a $50,000 money transfer from Ms Badenduck between January and July 2016.
She has further denied allegations that she stole $28,615 from Ms Badenduck through unauthorised ATM withdrawals and $7,601 through unauthorised debit card transactions between August 2015 and October 2016.
Prosecutors have alleged that Ms Vieira had falsely told Ms Badenduck she required a $50,000 loan to cover a “buy-in” and become a partner at MacLellan and Associates, where she had worked.
However, Jacqueline MacLellan said she had never discussed a potential partnership with Ms Vieira and was “shocked” to hear about the loan.
She told the court that Ms Vieira had brought Ms Badenduck on as a client in 2015, with the firm tasked with handling a caregiver accused of theft. She had no idea Ms Vieira had received power of attorney over the senior until November 2016.
One caregiver told the court that she had been paid late on numerous occasions, while one said she had not receive any pay for two months.
Both said they had access to a debit card, which they used to buy medical supplies and withdraw cash at Ms Badenduck’s request.
The trial continues.
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