The sacked director of the John Howard Society has to pay back ‘stolen funds’
He was supposed to run a charity to help ex-criminals; Instead it was him charged with criminal activity oneself.
Darren Pennock was Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-Dufferin from 2012 until his dismissal for cause in 2019.
According to a recent ruling, the nonprofit found that he lived a high life, using corporate credit cards and issuing fake bills to swindle them out of more than $200,000.
In a lawsuit filed by the agency seeking its money back, the judge had scathing words for the former director.
“I find that Pennock’s conduct was arbitrary, malicious and highly reprehensible, particularly in light of the clear evidence that he breached his fiduciary duty as set out in his employment contract, committed multiple acts of fraud and deception, and thereby disadvantaged the plaintiff organization.” “It is a very substantial amount of money, funded by tax revenue collected by the government and also by charitable donations,” Supreme Court Justice Peter Daley wrote
According to the verdict, it was an elaborate list.
A forensic audit in February 2020, the ruling said, found that Pennock forged invoices and documents, forged signatures on expense reports and even created forged board meeting minutes.
According to the forensic examination, tLarge-scale fraud cases included charges for personal travel, food and entertainment expenses totaling $159,375, and fraudulent purchases of approximately $45,395 worth of gift cards and electronics and other items totaling $63,895.87. Dollar.
According to the audit, Pennock also made allegations on his corporate credit card for alleged legal fees incurred by the company at three different law firms, ““everything was found to be fraudulent,” the ruling said.
On October 19, 2021, Pennock was charged with fraud over $5,000; breach of trust; and six counts of submitting forged documents. The verdict said it was unclear what happened to his charges.
After the John Howard Society sued Pennock and his wife Nancie Parker to recover the money, the couple reached a settlement agreement Pay $352,045 with a minimum of $150,000 payable on November 30, 2022.
But the Mississauga couple paid just $100,000 for the settlement, the judge said. In addition, they were to provide security to the John Howard Society by taking out a second mortgage on their home. Instead, they granted a third mortgage “in further breach of the Settlement Agreement.”
As a result, the Company re-sued the couple in court seeking a default judgment and additional punitive damages. And things didn’t go well for her.
With interest, Daley is now asking her to repay $239,388.50 of the “stolen funds.”
He found that Pennock’s wife was also responsible for the amount.
“Nancie Parker knew that Pennock’s salary didn’t cover the lifestyle and expenses he took on on her behalf,” Daley said. “That knowledge created a duty to investigate what she either did and thereby actually knew about the scam or didn’t, leaving her completely blind to the scam.”
She also benefited from the embezzled funds through legal fees paid on her behalf, European and Caribbean travel, and gifts and household items she received, the judge wrote.
The couple were also ordered to pay nearly $48,000 in mutual legal costs and were told that filing for bankruptcy would not set aside the recovery amounts.
In addition, Pennock alone would have to pay an additional $35,000 in punitive damages, Daley ruled.
“I have ruled that the award of punitive damages must reflect a finding that Pennock’s conduct, including fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, directly harmed a nonprofit organization that derives its funding from taxpayers’ money and charitable donations,” the judge said.
“This is not simply a fraud case against a for-profit company,” Daley said. “The damage extended to the public and not just shareholder investors.”
The couple’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
The John Howard Society of Peel-Halton-Dufferin is “relieved” by the court’s decision.
“We now look forward to moving this issue behind us,” the offender-focused organization said in a statement to The Sun, “and continuing to provide valuable programs to the communities we serve.”
Programs your former director might need now.
https://torontosun.com/news/local-news/mandel-fired-john-howard-society-director-ordered-to-repay-stolen-funds The sacked director of the John Howard Society has to pay back ‘stolen funds’
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