Former SD43 manager sued for alleged conspiracy to defraud district out of $113k

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A former School District #43 facilities manager and another man are being sued for allegedly defrauding the district out of $113,400.

The district filed their civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court against Rizwan Shawl and Maurizio Niro on July 6, seeking damages, special damages, interest, and costs.

“Shawl, with the knowledge and assistance of Niro embarked upon a fraudulent scheme to misappropriate funds,” the court documents allege. “Shawl conspired with Niro, and all of the defendants committed acts of fraud and conversion against School District 43 and are therefore jointly liable.”


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The alleged scheme in question involved making fraudulent purchase orders of HVAC systems for two elementary schools in 2020 and 2021.

These HVAC systems were never delivered, according to the school district.

Shawl was a manager of facilities improvements and maintenance from April 2019 to May 2022, responsible for undertaking and overseeing remedial projects performed by contractors.

The position also gave him the authority to make purchases of up to $15,000 for these projects.

Niro is believed to live in Mission, and represented himself through NGC Supplies, purporting to supply HVAC systems, according to court documents.

The two defendants allegedly would fabricate invoices for the HVAC systems to conceal the fraud.

In May 2020, Shawl initiated a service request for a mechanical upgrade for the HVAC system at Leigh Elementary School, amounting to $42,000.

In June 2021, SD43 initiated a service request for heating and lighting controls at Glenayre Elementary School. Shawl allegedly altered the request to include a $71,400 HVAC system.

In both instances, Shawl did not follow purchase order protocols and created documentation showing the sale and delivery of the items.

Based on the false information, the school district would issue payments to NGC Supplies, according to court documents.

The school district claims the two defendants conspired for personal benefit, and are therefore jointly liable for damages.

“Niro knowingly assisted with the acts of fraud and conversion and/or knowingly received the fruits of the fraud and conversion by receiving all or a portion of the fraudulent proceeds,” court documents stated. “He knew or ought to have known, or was reckless or was willfully blind that the monies arising from the fraud and conversion were fraudulently obtained by Shawl.”

The full scope of the alleged fraud scheme is not yet known due to the concealment, nor are details of how the proceeds were divided between the two defendants, according to court documents.

However, the district alleges that some of the proceeds have been used to purchase, repair or upgrade Shawl’s family residence in Pitt Meadows, held jointly with his wife.

The district is seeking tracing and accounting orders of both defendants, along with a declaration that the district holds title and property rights for all assets acquired through the fraudulent purchases.

These assets include proceeds used on the Pitt Meadows property, which the district claims entitles them to interest in the property title.

“In these circumstances, a monetary award, on its own, is inadequate, insufficient and inappropriate,” the court documents stated.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

A media representative for the Coquitlam School District said the district is unable to comment on the case, as it is before the courts.

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