A former notary disbarred for life from her professional order for numerous ethical lapses risks prison for having defrauded an inheritance, while she was executor of a will. Nicole Sauvé even took more than $600,000 from the funds of this elderly couple during their lifetime.
The 69-year-old Gatineau resident pleaded guilty in mid-January, at the Montreal courthouse, to one count of using or possessing a forged document. She was initially accused of fraud, but the leader was dropped. His case had dragged on for more than four years before the courts.
Nicole Sauvé was a notary in 2009 when she became executor of a deceased elderly couple. She was the best friend of the deceased’s daughter. However, the offender took advantage of this role to defraud the couple’s estate for $75,000.
According to the admitted facts, Nicole Sauvé happily dipped into the estate’s bank accounts. In particular, she wrote 11 fraudulent checks in the name of her secretary, in addition to withdrawing funds for her own gain on dozens of occasions.
Nicole Sauvé also spoiled the members of her family. Over the years, she transferred thousands of dollars to three construction companies administered or owned by her then-spouse or her son, according to the facts admitted by the accused.
Declared unworthy to inherit in 2015
In 2015, Nicole Sauvé was declared unworthy of inheriting from the older couple. She had inherited $15,000 and 30% of the deceased’s estate.
“Nicole Sauvé committed serious breaches of trust, acts of culpable negligence and serious faults against the deceased in the exercise of her functions as agent, liquidator, administrator of the property of others”, a wrote Superior Court Judge Stephen W. Hamilton in 2015.
We learn in this judgment that Nicole Sauvé had lent at least $664,000 to another man from the assets of the older couple, partly during their lifetime. These loans were never repaid. Nicole Sauvé was thus ordered to pay this sum to the estate.
Let us point out, however, that this affair of loans of $664,000 is not found in the framework recognized by Nicole Sauvé in her criminal case.
Disbarred for life in 2014
The former notary was disbarred from her professional order for life in 2014. In this case, Nicole Sauvé had embezzled $83,000 given by a fellow notary to pay off mortgage debts. The episode had traumatized her beginner colleague so much that she had abandoned her career.
In 2016, Nicole Sauvé was again sanctioned by the disciplinary council of the Chamber of Notaries. A few years earlier, Nicole Sauvé handled the sales deeds for a condo project in Terrebonne and buildings in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. However, rather than canceling the mortgages, the notary used the funds for other purposes on several occasions.
Observations on the sentence are scheduled for next June.