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Alleged fake nurse has first B.C. in-person court date

Crown wants case management judge to keep resolution discussions on course after multiple defence lawyers.
Brigitte Cleroux.

A woman facing multiple B.C. fraud-related and assault charges while allegedly impersonating a nurse at BC Women's Hospital has returned to the province and faced a B.C. Supreme Court judge Nov. 15.

Brigitte Denise Cleroux, 41, has appeared mainly in Vancouver Provincial Court via video from Ontario.

Cleroux, dressed in grey prison sweats, sat quietly while lawyers discussed her case with Justice Warren Milman on Wednesday.

She is facing 19 charges in Vancouver of assault, assault with a weapon, fraud over $5,000, using forged documents and impersonation with intent to gain advantage.

Crown prosecutor Daniel Mulligan said Cleroux allegedly impersonated a nurse and treated hundreds of people. He said he was unsure if all those people would be witnesses.

Mulligan also said the case would involve a large amount of medical and staff records.

He alleged that when the hospital became aware she was an imposter, she resigned and moved to Ontario.

On Vancouver Island, Cleroux has been charged with fraud over $5,000, impersonation, use of forged documents and assault in connection with a View Royal medical clinic, RCMP confirmed. The alleged offence took place in 2020.

Further, a court information sworn in Surrey April 27 alleges Cleroux defrauded a man of money in excess of $5,000 between Aug. 24, 2019 and Feb. 29, 2020.

That information further alleges that, between April 5, 2019 and March 4, 2020, Cleroux fraudulently impersonated a woman with intent to gain advantage for herself.

The View Royal and Surrey allegations are not part of the case discussed before Milman.

Vancouver lawyer Guillaume Garih is Cleroux’s seventh lawyer, according to court documents.

Garih confirmed before Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Dawn Boblin Nov. 7 that his client would like to enter pleas in provincial court.

On Nov. 15, Garih said Cleroux would like to move ahead to sentencing — not the first time a judge has been told that.

“Ms. Cleroux wants this set down for sentencing as soon as possible,” Garih told Milman.

“We’ve been down this road,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan asked Milman to appoint a case management judge to handle the complex case and also to keep any resolution discussions on track.

Mulligan said previous such discussion have fallen apart “at the eleventh hour” as Cleroux’s lawyers were either fired or quit.

“I don’t want to lose months on resolution discussions and lose counsel again,” he told Milman.

The prosecutor also expressed fear the case could run up against the so-called Jordan timelines for case lengths set down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In custody

Cleroux has been in custody since her arrest by Ottawa police in August 2021.

The first B.C. charges were detailed in a Nov. 19, 2021 court information.

The initial charges were approved after the Vancouver Police Department launched a months-long investigation spurred by reports of a BC Women’s Hospital employee allegedly fraudulently identifying herself as a nurse between June 2020 and June 2021.

VPD’s Financial Crime Unit found a woman had allegedly fraudulently used the name of a real nurse while providing medical care to patients at the hospital.

There are also a number of civil lawsuits pending against Cleroux.

She is due back at provincial court Nov. 16.

Cleroux keeps telling judges there is a publication ban on the case. The only ban on record is one barring publication of bail hearing details.