Man accused of defrauding seniors home faces suit alleging $800K theft

Man accused of defrauding seniors home faces suit alleging $800K theft

A man charged with defrauding a seniors home is now facing a lawsuit alleging he stole more than $800,000 from an interior design company.

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A Vancouver man accused of defrauding the operators of a Burnaby long-term care facility during COVID-19 is now facing a lawsuit alleging he stole more than $800,000 from an interior design company that employed him after he resigned from the care home.

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In November, Nehaz Hirji was charged with two counts of theft over $5,000, two counts of fraud over $5,000 and two counts of using forged documents in relation to his employment as executive assistant at the George Derby Care Society, which runs the George Derby Centre long-term care facility.

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The allegation is that he committed fraud against the society in the fall of 2020, during the second wave of COVID.

He was employed as executive assistant to George Derby Care Society executive director Ava Turner from March 4, 2019, to April 6, 2021, when he resigned from his job.

If he doesn’t appear at his next court appearance March 21 in Vancouver provincial court, a judge may issue a warrant for his arrest.

According to a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court, on July 5, 2021, shortly after he stepped aside from his job at the long-term care facility, Hirji was hired as a full-time accountant at Beyond Beige Interior Design Inc., a company with an office in North Vancouver.

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The firm claims that in June 2021 Hirji conceived of a scheme that he subsequently carried out, to defraud Beyond Beige by diverting corporate money from the company’s bank accounts to bank accounts that he controlled.

He’s alleged to have misappropriated funds from the company’s bank accounts by way of e-transfer to email addresses that appeared to be related to company vendors but were in fact controlled by him.

Hirji also allegedly recorded and annotated the transactions with false and misleading information in the company’s records to disguise that they were misappropriations as opposed to legitimate transactions.

“Beyond Beige confirmed the existence of the fraudulent scheme on or about March 1, 2023, and is now undertaking a full investigation of the extent of the fraudulent scheme,” says the notice of civil claim filed in Vancouver.

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The company says that as far as is presently known, the scheme involved fraudulent transfers by Hirji from company bank accounts in the amounts of $778,176 and US$42,013.

“As a consequence of the fraudulent scheme, Hirji has converted funds from Beyond Beige’s bank accounts and Beyond Beige has suffered loss and damage, the full extent of which is now being investigated.”

The company is seeking an injunction to restrain Hirji from dealing with his bank accounts or other assets as well as damages or restitution for the amount that has been lost by the allegedly fraudulent scheme.

No response has yet been filed to the lawsuit, which contains allegations that have not been tested in court. Hirji could not be reached for comment.

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Beyond Beige is a company that was established in 2003 and conducts full-service interior design for both residential and commercial clients and has 10 employees, according to the writ.

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