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Lawyer accused of obtaining $80,000 from disabled client cross examines former boss

Nancy Vieira

A woman accused of illegally obtaining more than $80,000 from a disabled client argued that her employer knew she had taken on additional tasks for the senior despite previous claims.

Jacqueline MacLellan, head of MacLellan and Associates, told the Supreme Court last week that she understood that Nancy Vieira had ceased work for Kirsten Badenduck by April 2016 and that the work was supposed to be limited to handling a caregiver that the client wanted terminated.

However, under cross-examination by Ms Vieira, who is representing herself, Ms MacLellan accepted that the client was billed for work carried out in May of that year.

The invoice listed items including contacting the Canadian Consulate and the Department of Immigration.

The defendant suggested that the invoice contradicted Ms MacLellan’s evidence that she did not know Ms Vieira had been tasked with helping Ms Badenduck with other matters, such as renewing her Canadian passport and work permits for a caregiver.

Ms MacLellan responded that those tasks were not completed until after she had taken over responsibility for Ms Badenduck.

“It was only completed because I had to do it,” she said.

While Ms Vieira suggested Ms MacLellan was aware that she had continued to work for Ms Badenduck until at least October, she denied that was the case.

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 also denied allegations that she stole $28,615 from Ms Badenduck – who died in 2019 – through unauthorised ATM withdrawals and $7,601 through unauthorised debit card transactions between August 2015 and October 2016.

The court previously heard that Ms Badenduck died in January 2019.

Ms MacLellan told the court last week that she had no idea Ms Vieira had been given power of attorney for Ms Badenduck until the client contacted her to complain about the defendant.

She said that at the meeting she was also shocked to discover that Ms Badenduck had loaned Ms Vieira $50,000 under the pretence of the defendant needing it to become a partner in the firm.

Ms MacLellan said that she had no interest in having a partner and that the possibility had never been discussed with Ms Vieira.

Ms Vieira suggested to Ms MacLellan in cross-examination that it was normal for the prospective partner to get capital for the buy-in and prepare an agreement before approaching the existing partner with the offer.

Ms MacLellan said she did not know much about the buy-in process because she had never sought a partner.

She added: “I would have thought that the person would have to invite someone to become a partner and then they go out and all that.”

Ms MacLellan also denied a claim that she had left the country shortly after the meeting in which she told Ms Vieira that she would be let go and left the defendant to cover her responsibilities for two weeks.

She said that she had gone away for a long weekend at the end of the month but that before she left she had made sure that all of Ms Vieira’s e-mails would be forwarded to her so she could monitor her activities.

While Ms Vieira continued to suggest that Ms Badenduck’s brother was actually the client, Ms MacLellan maintained that she understood Ms Badenduck was the client and said that after the defendant was terminated she received her instructions through her.

“All I know is what happened when I got involved,” she said.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.