100 Huntley Street hosts still lying low
Crossroads Christian Communications cleared in Ponzi investigation
By Josiah Neufeld | Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Reynold Mainse (left) and Ron Mainse (right). PHOTO: CCCI
BURLINGTON, ONFans who miss the popular co-hosts of Christian television show 100 Huntley Street shouldn't expect to see Ron and Reynold Mainse back on air this fall, although their names have been essentially cleared of wrongdoing in an ongoing Ponzi scheme investigation.
"I think the board is very very cautious," Reynold Mainse said when ChristianWeek asked him if he expects to be back on the show anytime soon. "I don't know and I'm not that anxious about it."
Crossroads Christian Communications pulled the Mainse brotherssons of founder David Mainsefrom the show in May after the Hamilton Spectator broke the news that Gordon Driver and his company Axcess Automation were accused in a California court of running a $16 million dollar Ponzi scheme. Driver told the court that the Mainse brothers had invested money with him and brought him new investors.
Driver and his company are facing a criminal investigation by California state attorney's office and accusations of investor fraud from the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission.
No charges have been laid against the Mainse brothers who say they cooperated fully with the Ontario Securities Commission in its own investigation of Driver.
"We took someone we thought to be a friend at his word," says Reynold Mainse. "We didn't investigate our friend, and it turned out what he was telling us was not true. It hurt us and it hurt our families."
Mainse says Driver and his family recently moved into his brother Ron's neighbourhood. "Their kids played together, they did a little holidaying together, they really felt they had a strong good relationship," says Mainse.
Mainse says Driver told him investing money in his company would help strengthen Mainse's ministry. Mainse and his wife Kathy are also volunteer co-chairs of a ministry called Heaven's Rehearsal.
"I came to find out over a year later that one apparently needs a license to get any compensation when it comes to the stock market," Mainse wrote in a letter he sent to his friends and supporters on July 26.
Mainse says he pointed five relatives and 10 friends toward investment opportunities with Driver. His friends ended up losing varying amounts of moneyMainse wouldn't say how muchand that he personally "didn't lose very much."
"They don't hold anything against me," he says.
The SEC accuses Driver of defrauding about 90 investors in Canada and 15 in the U.S. Driver allegedly raised $16 million dollars Canadian from investors whom he promised returns of up to 5 per cent per week.
Mainse says his first inkling that something was awry came on May 15. He says he was "shocked" when he read a report from the SEC and in the newspaper that Driver was facing charges.
"Even when we met with the Ontario Securities Commission, we still believed in our heart that somehow this is all good, that the questions will be answered, Gord will be cleared and we can move on with something that we thought was good," says Mainse.
The Mainse brothers are not facing charges, and Crossroads says no ministry funds were invested with Driver.
Ron Mainse says he won't comment at present, but that he's preparing to release his own public statement.
Crossroads still cautious
In the meantime, Crossroads invited an accounting firm to make its own internal investigation of Crossroads. The board said in a statement July 17 that it is confident "no CCCI funds whatsoever were directed to Gordon Driver or any of his corporate entities."
"They've gone through a good process," says John Pellowe, CEO of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, of which Crossroads is a member. "We had full access to everything we wanted to see. It was quite extensive. They have not acted in an arbitrary manner, they have done their due diligence, they have looked at it very carefully, they have consulted externally."
But Crossroads CEO Doug Mckenzie says the Mainse brothers won't be back on the show until they've completed a "restorative" process outlined by the Crossroads board.
"Obviously we're praying about this, we're looking for restoration, we're anticipating that," says Mckenzie. "We don't have anything else we can say about it at this timethey're working through those issues."
Though the organization's day-to-day operations are "secure" and there are "no prospects of going under," according to Mckenzie, this issue has contributed to a financially difficult year.
At press time Kerry Carmichael, chair of the Crossroads board, had not returned calls requesting an interview.
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