He may be the biggest real-life Grinch in the history of Christmas.
David Rennie, 51, the recently fired executive director of the Salvation Army in Canada, has been charged by Toronto police with stealing more than $2 million in children’s toys.
Rennie is believed to be in cahoots with a company called Northern Sales Group, a wholesale business who are involved in the scheme on some level, according to the Toronto Star.
The scandal began after the Salvation Army conducted its own audit and the discrepancies were discovered earlier this year. It’s believed that the scam had been ongoing for two years.
Since the thefts were discovered, Rennie has been on paid leave. He was officially fired last week. He had been with the Salvation Army since 2010 when he came into the charity as a consultant.
The investigating officer Detective Sgt. Jim Gotell told a news conference this morning:
We’re alleging the thefts took place under David Rennie’s control and without the permission of the Salvation Army,
We’re alleging that the toys were going to be redirected to other parties and sold for profit.
Gotell also stated that police are working hard to recover all of the stolen items and to return them to the Salvation Army in time for Christmas.
On Friday and Saturday, Canadian police carried out two warehouse raids in Brampton and North York in Toronoto. Both warehouses belonged to Northern Sales Group. There officers found massive caches of assorted children’s cribs, toys and candy.
The Salvation Army has reported an outpouring of support in response to the theft.
In 2001 Rennie declared bankruptcy, with debts of $280,000. His Salvation Army salary in 2011 was $111,215.
Rennie has been released from police custody on the promise that he appears in court on January 4. His charges include theft of $5,000, possession of property, and criminal breach of trust.