Family Friend Embezzles $500,000 from Terminal Cancer Victim’s Estate

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In 2011, Colleen Monier passed away at 51 from terminal brain cancer, entrusting her estate to family friend, Jeff Borschowa. Monier’s estate, originally appraised at $1.2 million, was valued at a lesser $700,000 posthumously. However, her family reveals they received just part of this wealth as Borschowa allegedly embezzled more than $500,000 within six years.

“Half a million dollars disappeared, over and above what he was supposed to take,” confessed Michael Palmer, Monier’s brother, casting a shadow of doubt over Borschowa.

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A 2021 investigation by Calgary police led to Borschowa’s indictment on charges of fraud and theft, exceeding $5,000. They were pointed towards Borschowa after the family expressed skepticism over the executor and accounting charges he’d accumulated from the estate over the years. Notably, Borschowa’s alliance with the family dates back to 2008 when he purchased Monier’s late husband’s accounting firm, thereby fostering a bond that saw him become executor of her will.

Having been found guilty, Borschowa awaited sentencing on Monday. However, an unnerving pattern emerged when, for the fifth time in a year, the decision was postponed. A dejected Palmer voiced his frustration, yearning for some semblance of accountability and closure, be it prison time or other forms of retribution for Borschowa.

In a parallel incident, Michelle Brosseau recounts her experience of being promised a valuable piece of property at the Sweetwater Resort on Lake Koocanusa for $8,500. She made the payment in 2011 to an individual she had considered a friend for six years.

Craig Douglas McMorran, the man in question, was apprehended in 2021 on charges of fraud and theft, exceeding $5,000, and a count each of money laundering. McMorran is believed to have falsely accumulated over $2 million from various victims under the pretense of selling authentic lot and dock spaces at the lake. Still reeling from the financial loss, Brosseau expressed her desire for such fraudulent practices to end. She also revealed that McMorran’s trial, initially scheduled for the following month, is postponed until May.

Similarly, the Sweetwater Resort became embroiled in allegations when around 85 individuals allegedly fell victim to fraudulent activities between 2014 and 2017. The land development project was subsequently ordered to shut down by the Regional District Office of East Kootenay.

In the midst of these cases, legal professionals point towards the 2016 Jordan decision. This rule mandates that trials for severe and violent crimes must conclude within 18 or 30 months of charges being laid. Consequently, the participants of both aforementioned events are growing weary of the delaying tactics. Danielle Boisvert, the past president of the Criminal Trail Lawyers Association of Alberta, hints at a decrease in Jordan applications since 2016, indicating a decongestion of system backlog.

Facing this confusion and turmoil, individuals like Palmer continue to hope for a prompt resolution, signifying the end of a drawn-out legal odyssey.

“Everything we are doing is for her,” Palmer acknowledged.