B.C. woman accused of defrauding her employer of over $1.8M

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A B.C. woman is facing multiple criminal charges, accused of diverting over $1.8 million from her employer to her personal bank accounts to buy an expensive car, gold and a property, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.

Galyna Kulykova worked as a bookkeeper for the Alacrity Foundation of B.C. starting in the summer of 2021 before resigning in October 2023, court documents say.

In February 2023, she started submitting “fictitious” accounts payable to Alacrity for approval and entered her own bank account number for the deposit, according to Alacrity’s response to a notice of civil claim filed by B.C.’s director of civil forfeiture.

The notice of claim filed in February of this year alleges Kulykova used diverted funds to buy a property in Nanaimo, a 2023 Mercedes Benz worth about $80,000, $100,000 in euros, $178,000 in gold bullion and to make transfers worth over $700,000 to Wealthsimple investment accounts.

The director of civil forfeiture, who’s trying to seize Kulykova’s property, says Kulykova diverted her last payment one day before she quit her job at Alacrity.

Kulykova was arrested in December 2023 after returning from international travel and later released with conditions. Last week she was charged with one count of fraud over $5,000, two counts of theft, and three counts of laundering proceeds of crime. None of the charges against Kulykova have been proven in court. 

Kulykova’s lawyer declined to comment on the case. CBC News reached out to Kulykova via social media but did not hear back. Her next court date is May 15.

‘Abused her authority’

Alacrity Foundation of B.C. is the legal name for Alacrity Canada, an organization that helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses. It has seven offices around the world including Vancouver, Victoria, Turkey and France, according to its website.

Alacrity Canada declined CBC’s interview request. Police say Alacrity discovered financial wrongdoing after conducting a scheduled audit.

In a statement to CBC News, Alacrity Canada said it “remains in strong financial health in 2024, and no programs or initiatives will be, nor have been, affected by this incident.”

Aside from the accounts payable, court documents allege Kulykova made grant payments from Alacrity to several bank accounts that she owned. Kulykova did not require approval from her employer to make those payments, Alacrity said in court documents.

“Kulykova abused her authority in violation of the terms of her employment and fiduciary duties owed to Alacrity,” the organization said.

“The total amount stolen from Alacrity, which is still under investigation, is a minimum of $1,841,309.85,” Alacrity said. 

Potentially other victims: police

Investigators have recovered about $900,000 and are still working to recover the rest, according to the Victoria Police Department.

The director of civil forfeiture says it takes no issue with proceeds from the sale of Kulykova’s property being released to Alacrity because it was a “victim.”

Police say they believe there may be other organizations that have been defrauded by Kulykova and are asking for any potential victims to contact them.

This article was originally sourced from www.CBCNews.ca