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Nancy Vieira: my employer knew my role

Nancy Vieira

A lawyer accused of illegally obtaining more than $80,000 from a quadriplegic client told the court that her employer was aware she had been given power of attorney over the complainant.

Nancy Vieira, taking the stand in her own defence, said was granted power of attorney over Kirsten Badenduck by Tore Badenduck, the client’s brother, in June 2015 after concerns were raised about the actions of a former caregiver.

She said that while HSBC had already frozen Ms Badenduck’s accounts, she had been asked to close her Bank of Butterfield accounts and set up new HSBC accounts.

“The power of attorney was provided to me was to facilitate that,” Ms Vieira said.

She added that a copy of the power of attorney was sent to the offices of MacLellan and Associates, where she had worked at the time, and that she had shown it to Jacqueline MacLellan, the head of the firm.

“At all times Ms MacLellan was aware of the work that was being conducted and that the power of attorney was needed, to facilitate opening the bank accounts at HSBC,” Ms Vieira.

“I was meeting with the banks during work hours and everything I was doing was on my time sheets.”

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.

Ms Badenduck, who was paralysed, died in 2019.

Earlier in the trial, Ms MacLellan told the court she only discovered that Ms Vieira had been given power of attorney over Ms Badenduck when the client made complaints about the defendant in November 2016.

She said she was also shocked to discover that Ms Badenduck had loaned the defendant $50,000 to help her secure a partnership at the firm – something Ms MacLellan said had never been offered or discussed.

As the trial continued in the Supreme Court yesterday, Ms Vieira said she first became involved with Ms Badenduck in June 2015 when two women came to MacLellan and Associates on behalf of Mr Badenduck.

She said she was told that Mr Badenduck had been contacted by HSBC after concerns were raised regarding a loan application submitted by Ms Badenduck’s supervising caregiver.

“They also advised that HSBC had sent and made a referral to the senior abuse registrar,” Ms Vieira said.

“They advised that Mr Badenduck wanted that caregiver to be terminated and removed from the premises. They advised also that he wanted all the bank accounts closed.”

The defendant told the court that Mr Badenduck retained the services of the law firm and she delivered the caregiver a termination letter along with an order to vacate an apartment at Ms Badenduck’s home.

Ms Vieira said she was later informed that the caregiver had returned to the house and attempted to speak with Ms Badenduck.

“Mr Badenduck, having been made aware, communicated with me that he wanted a protection order,” she added. “I put that in place.

“That caregiver was the driver. She was the one who would do the shopping, collected all the things that were needed by Ms Badenduck.

“She was also the one who went with Ms Badenduck to all her medical appointments. She did the payroll and all of Ms Badenduck’s expenses.”

Ms Vieira said she was subsequently tasked with reviewing the caregiver’s records and putting any discrepancies she found to Ms Badenduck.

“Ms Badenduck couldn’t recall certain things and needed to be shown documents and the dates,” she said.

“In Skype meetings Mr Badenduck would remind her of certain things they had discussed or done.”

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.