Salvation Army fraud an inside job

(QMI Agency file photo)

(QMI Agency file photo)

Shawn Jeffords, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:35 PM ET

TORONTO — The Salvation Army said it is the victim of a multi-million dollar theft allegedly perpetrated by one of its own.

Maj. John Murray says it's a crime that has hurt staff in the warehouse where the alleged theft of 100,000 toys took place as the charity enters a crucial time of year.

He said that when a crime is allegedly committed by someone he's "personally worked with” and has “had coffee with, it's hurtful."

Murray wouldn't name the alleged thief. Police have not laid any charges.

David Rennie, the executive director of the warehouse operation, was fired after an internal audit revealed the toys had been stolen. Rennie had been on paid leave since a whistleblower reported problems.

Murray said the charity went to the police immediately after receiving the results of the audit.

"We believe this has been very specific. It's been targeted, it's been very strategic in the way that it was put together and thought out. It happened over a 24-month period of time."

The group is now working with its insurers to recover losses and has commissioned accounting firm KPMG to examine the Salvation Army's operation with an eye to ensuring it is not victimized again.

Const. Wendy Drummond said police received a complaint about large-scale theft at the warehouse on Sept. 27.

The investigation is “very much on-going." Drummond said.

Murray appealed to donors across the province, asking them to keep the faith in the charity as it grapples with the betrayal.

shawn.jeffords@sunmedia.ca


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