Former Salvation Army exec. found guilty of fraud

A former Salvation Army executive diverted truckloads of donations received by the charity to the black market as part of scheme to make money, a Toronto court has ruled.

David Rennie was found guilty this week of six charges related to the setup, including fraud, theft and trafficking in stolen goods, though he was cleared of a conspiracy charge after a judge found his co-accused not guilty.

Justice Sandra Bacchus said in her decision that over two years, Rennie partnered with a wholesaler to cherry-pick the best donations and resell them for a profit, though it's unclear exactly how much he benefited financially.

The wholesaler, Umaish ``Tony'' Ramrattan, ``profited handsomely'' but Bacchus said she couldn't be certain of his intention to deceive since he had acted openly and with the approval of Rennie, who was then the executive director of a north Toronto Salvation Army location that served as a storage facility and distribution centre.

Bacchus said the pair worked together to reroute large amounts of food, products and toys, including some collected through the organization's high-profile Toy Mountain holiday drive, to a separate warehouse from where it was sold off to grocery stores and other retailers.

She said their actions left the Salvation Army's Railside Road location with fewer, and sometimes scarce, donations to distribute to its partners and what remained was of a poorer calibre.