Monday 12 March 2018

CREEPS XVI                                              

The world is full of creepy people who take advantages against others without any sense of shame whatsoever. This article is about two of those creeps.

David Rennie was a Salvation Army executive in Toronto. He was in charge of the Salvation Army’s warehouses where donated food toys and other items were kept for later distribution to those in need. His official position was that he was the executive director of the Salvation Army donation storage and distribution centre The amount of  goods stolen by his was approximately two million dollars from the sale of 100,000 items.

Rennie was a consultant (according to him) who had been brought on to improve operations at the Toronto-based Salvation donation centre. He was hired as the executive director in January 2010 and the following year the location began handling donations for the whole central southeast division — including the Greater Toronto Area, Kingston and Ottawa.

The overwhelming generosity of Salvation Army donors was evident in the warehouses. They were overflowing with playpens, deodorant, diapers, fruit cups, margarine, candy, bedding, expensive bikes, etc., along with so  many   toys from the Christmas Toy Mountain campaign.

Unfortunately, many of these donations weren’t going to the shelters, food banks and needy children that were supported by the Salvation Army. They were being sold for profit by this creep.

The scheme was to siphon off and sell vast amounts of donations which were masterminded by David Rennie.        

In the spring of 2010 he was introduced to Ramrattan, an “approved vendor” who sometimes helped the Salvation Army source items at a good price such as when a men’s shelter was in urgent need of razors and toothbrushes.

Rennie’s scheme took place under the guise of selling surplus donations to Umaish “Tony” Ramrattan who would use that money to buy goods the Salvation Army was in need of such as meat, canned protein and kosher food.

By 2011, Ramrattan was at Railside almost daily and even when staff tried to intervene such as when they were low on food donations, Rennie would override them. By the summer of 2012, Ramrattan was taking between six and 12 skids of donations four times a week and returning three or four skids of product about every two or three weeks. As you can see, this resulted in a short fall of stock on hand.

This creep began allowing Ramrattan to pick the best donations such as toys and food that was far from its expiry date and take them to another warehouse and sell them. Records later seized by police show that Ramrattan took away far more in donations than he returned in purchased goods.

Trucks laden with donations from Nestle and Sun laundry detergent were re-routed to this second warehouse rented by Ramrattan at a steep discount price because the owner believed it to be affiliated with the Salvation Army.                                                 

Staff at the Railside warehouse, the location of the donation centre, became concerned that their shelves were empty and the quality of the donations they were sending out were declining even while Rennie continued to authorize Ramrattan to take donations. And when Railside needed some of those donations back, Ramrattan said he’d have to charge them for his services.

However, the staff didn’t report their concerns about this because Rennie told them that he had the authority to do what he pleased. There were some rumours that appeared to be unfounded so Rennie fired two of the employees for complaining about him in order to cover his tracks.

Another excuse Rennie gave for the re-routed donations was that they needed the extra storage space which was an excuse that didn’t hold up because the shelves at Railside were becoming increasingly empty. As you can see, some creeps are also very stupid.

In the last six months of Rennie’s tenure, all the products returned by Ramrattan had been previously donated to the Salvation Army.      

Search warrants conducted after the police became involved in the fall of 2012, found two warehouses linked to Ramrattan packed with toys, playpens, candy, diapers, personal care products and other donations including expensive bikes donated to the Salvation Army by the Premier’s office.

Rennie intentionally undertook a series of dishonest acts that allowed him to conceal his actions, convert donations to his own use and thereby cause deprivation to Salvation Army’s Railside.

He lied to Railside staff and donors, lied by omissions to his bosses, destroyed evidence, moved “vast amounts” donations to be sold and took cash payments for donations, she said.

Rennie had a motive for stealing from his employer. Canada Revenue Agency documents seized from Rennie’s home by police showed that he owed the government $69,000. He made two payments of $500 towards that debt in January and February 2011.At that rate of payments; it would take him 11 years and five months to pay just the principal of the debt. Obviously, the creep was also a deadbeat.

It is unclear from the police investigation, just how many donations Rennie and Ramrattan took and how much they made from the sale of the donations but the evidence submitted in court was that they were enriched through the scheme which was overwhelming. In one example, Ramrattan sold 23 skids of toys for $7,000.

After the Salvation Army’s internal auditors conducted a routine audit in the summer of 2012, Don Butt, the donations coordinator and warehouse manager was pressured by warehouse staff to report allegations of fraud by Rennie and Ramrattan to the auditors. Police then laid charges  against both men in November 2012.

The Trial judge, Bacchus had noted in her decision that the fraud was allowed to continue because of the trust the people who worked close to him had in Rennie. Rennie’s supervisor was going through personal family troubles at the time and admitted he was not paying attention as closely as he could have.

Although Ramrattan had also been charged with several fraud-related charges, he was acquitted on all counts. Bacchus ruled it was possible Ramrattan had been reassured by Rennie that what they were doing was allowed. He probably had to return his profits we the fraud. Charges laid on Rennie’s wife Diana Wang were withdrawn at an earlier date.

I don't know what  sentence  Rennie received.

No comments: