PUBLIC GUARDIAN TOOK $1-MILLION PROPERTY FOR $1Home > Blog > PUBLIC GUARDIAN TOOK $1-MILLION PROPERTY FOR $1
Bryan Tickell’s scheme to defraud clients of the Public Guardian and Trustee of B.C. unravelled quickly after he resigned on July 27, 2007. He had been hired 9 months earlier after lying about his academic credentials and work record, and providing a phoney reference. He had been placed in charge of 217 adult clients who were unable to look after their own financial and legal affairs.
By all appearances, he was performing well. He was offered an
employment extension, but decided to resign. It might have been a
clean getaway had one of his clients not died the same day he left.
A year earlier, Boris Derlago had been declared mentally incompetent.
In February 2007, his aorta ruptured and he was placed in palliative care.
The following month, Derlago apparently re-wrote his will, making Tickell
a 20-per-cent beneficiary of his estate, which was valued at $1.32 million.
When Derlago died, office staff reviewed the file and discovered Tickell
had forged the will. They also found he had defrauded many other clients,
and even though he had left his job, his scheme was still in progress.
One of those clients, Phyllis Lowdell, who had been deemed incapable
of managing her financial affairs, owned a home in West Vancouver.
Tickell later found she also owned property in Maple Ridge, but failed to
list the property in her file. Investigators became aware of the property &
conducted a search. To their horror, they learned it had been transferred
to Tickell for “$1.00 plus love and affection” several months before he resigned.
The transfer document had apparently been witnessed by “Capt. J. Murray,”
described as a commissioned officer on active duty with the Canadian Forces.
This had a familiar ring. When Tickell was hired, a person purporting to be
“John Murray” of the University of Helsinki provided the public guardian’s
office with a highly complimentary e-mail reference. The office was never
able to confirm he existed. and yet the government hired him & placed
him in charge of 217 vulnerable persons.
In the property transfer document, Murray referred to Tickell as Lowdell’s
grandson, which presumably explained the token purchase price.
This also had a familiar ring. Derlago’s will (which Tickell had forged)
described Tickell as his “long-time friend’s grandson,” presumably to explain
why Derlago was bequeathing him 20 per cent of his estate.
After obtaining title to the Maple Ridge property, Tickell arranged to sell it
to an innocent third party for $1 million. The sale closed on July 30, 2007,
just three days after Tickell resigned from his job at the public guardian’s
office. Net proceeds were $966,032.
It was discovered there were numerous other acts of treachery and deceit.
One related to Patrick Monaghan, who had come under Tickell’s care after
being certified as incapable by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
Monaghan owned a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser. On July 27, 2007 — the day
Tickell resigned — he left a note in Monaghan’s file stating the car and keys
were at Lions Gate Hospital where Monaghan was under care.
ADAPTED FROM THE VANCOUVER SUN MARCH 7, 2