Should someone have the rights and privileges of ministerial (ordination) credentials given by a branch of the Ontario government when that person is under investigation by another arm of the provincial government?
Reynold Mainse, son of David Mainse, founder of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. is listed as an ordained minister by the Ontario Attorney General. He is licenced to perform marriages (Marriage Act 1990) and under Revenue Canada tax law, can claim a Clergy residence tax deduction.
As I’ve checked the ongoing investigation of Axcess Automation/Gordon Driver/Crossroads/100 Huntley Street online occasionally, I decided to look at the Ontario AG’s list in July and mentioned at the end of an update post that Reynold Mainse was listed as an ordained minister in good standing with the Province of Ontario. The information has been eating at me, and I contacted the agency who extended the right and privilege of ordination to him.
Mainse is ordained by Open Bible Faith Fellowship. First, a bit of background.
Reynold Mainse, Axcess Automation/Funds and the Ontario Securities Exchange
In April 2009, it came to public attention that the Ontario Securities Commission, the US Securities Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission were investigating an alleged 14 million dollar ponzi scheme run by Canadian Gordon Driver. Over 100 investors in Canada and the US were targeted by his Axcess Automation/Axcess Funds.
A timeline of the investigation, and documents is here. Gordon Driver had worked for Crossroads, as had David Rutledge, a cousin of Reynold Mainse who was also named in the early documents.
Mid-May 2009, Ron and Reynold Mainse disappeared as hosts of 100 Huntley Street, the flagship program of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. In June Crossroads broadcast a brief statement. The on-air removal of founder David Mainse sons was covered by various media outlets, and Crossroads ordered a forensic audit to ensure that no viewer donations had been invested in the scam. Crossroads board declared in July 2009 that the organization was clean. Meantime it came to light brothers Ron and Reynold Mainse were being investigated as ‘finders’ for the ponzi scheme.
In August 2009, Reynold Mainse made a statement, shortly after the Crossroads board released this statement, and in October 2009, Ron Mainse was re-instated as a 100 Huntley Street host and Spiritual Director. Reynold Mainse made a brief 100 Huntley Street appearance around the Haiti earthquake and disappeared from public view again.
The son of 100 Huntley Street founder David Mainse and his cousin have been ordered to pay nearly $450,000 in restitution and penalties to the Ontario Securities Commission for their roles in an alleged Ponzi scheme created by a Freelton man.
Ron Mainse, an ordained minister and a leader of Burlington’s Crossroads Christian Communications, was ordered to repay about $138,000 in commissions he received from Gordon Driver, who is alleged by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to be the mastermind of a $14-million US Ponzi scheme involving nearly 200 North American investors.
Mainse was also ordered to pay a $10,000 penalty and refrain from trading securities or becoming a director or officer of a company that reports to the OSC for eight years. Mainse’s lawyer, Jay Naster, turned over cheques for the entire amounts to the OSC at yesterday’s hearing.
David Rutledge of Ancaster, Mainse’s cousin and also an ordained minister, was ordered to pay back nearly $263,000 in commissions he received from Driver, pay a $35,000 penalty, and refrain from trading securities or becoming a director or officer of a reporting company for a period of 15 years.
Rutledge turned over a cheque for $90,000, has agreed to sell his Ancaster home to finance another $120,000 in restitution and will sign an undertaking with the OSC to repay the remaining $88,000.
What about (Rev.)Reynold Mainse? His initial hearing with the OSC was scheduled for April 2011, along with Steven Taylor, a childhood friend of Gordon Driver. A decision about Mainse being an alleged Axcess Fund finder are not resolved. He is alleged to have brought in 22 investors to the tune of 4.1 million. He is alleged to have received a finders fee of over 210 thousand dollars.
The OSC investigation is far from over for Reynold Mainse. So why is he currently an ordained minister through the OBFF?
I asked, and the OBFF got back to me promptly.
Reynold Mainse and the OBFF
I do not believe the OBFF (which handles about 500 ministers) was up to speed about Mainse and the OSC.
OBFF is now. That having been said, the OBFF answered that since the board of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. put Reynold ‘in good standing’, that is enough of an endorsement for continued ordination.
Did the Crossroads board endorse Reynold Mainse as being free and clear ethically and morally for ordination and employment?
We are pleased that Ron Mainse and Reynold Mainse have taken the time away from Crossroads to process the issues around the current circumstances and are actively engaged in their own personal and spiritual journeys, before renewing their public ministries. They have the prayers, love, and full support of the Board of Directors. We would like to assure our partners that while this matter has taken some time to process, the process of the Board of Directors is, and will continue to be, preserving the integrity of 100 Huntley Street.
This statement is about the legacy of Crossroads – a forensic audit indicating that no Crossroad donor money was used to invest in the ponzi scheme. That employees, family and others around Crossroads who invested were broken, their finances drained and relationships shattered by the actions of the finders. The use of the charities money is the focus of this Crossroad board statement, not the Mainse brothers personal investments or roles as finders.
The OBFF has to have a relationship of trust with churches and organizations which endorse people for ordination. The OBFF doesn’t have a researcher to check transcripts, employment and character of it’s applicants. While everything I’ve posted is public knowledge, it took some digging. I don’t believe the OBFF moved past it’s trust of others to do their own digging in this case.
The OBFF also stated their need to “respect the leadership of 100 Huntley who endorses him.” (Reynold Mainse)
Look at this statement carefully from the 2009 board:
We are pleased that Ron Mainse and Reynold Mainse have taken the time away from Crossroads to process the issues around the current circumstances and are actively engaged in their own personal and spiritual journeys, before renewing their public ministries. They have the prayers, love, and full support of the Board of Directors.
Reynold Mainse has not finished processing the issues – the Crossroads board was aware in 2009 that the OSC is far from finished with him. I’ve prayed for Reynold Mainse to, but I wouldn’t endorse him for ministry while he is facing the OSC.
Another term for ‘in good standing’ is ‘covering.’ I don’t see how Reynold Mainse has the endorsement of the Crossroads board regarding the resolution of his ‘personal issues’ and it wouldn’t matter if he did.
Is employment cause for ‘in good standing’?
Reynold Mainse is not employed by Crossroads.
I’m hard pressed to understand how he is under Crossroads ‘covering’. Even if he was employed at Crossroads, TV is a business – if Crossroads needed an engineer with specific skills it wouldn’t matter if he was an atheist or a zoroasterian, if a Christian isn’t available, they hire who they need. If employment does put someone ‘in good standing’, this doesn’t apply for Reynold Mainse, by Crossroads own admission, he doesn’t work for them.
An endorsement by a father is not an endorsement by a board. David Mainse anger and hurt at media and blogs for covering his son’s involvement in the ponzi scheme is a matter of public record. Reynold is his son, and the heart and hurt of a father is not an indicator of ‘good standing’ with a charity board.
Reynold popped up on tv again May 29, 2012, during 100 Huntley Street’s Founders Week. Starts at 5:02 and ends 6:27. Both Reynold and his father are careful to say he took pictures for his dad for a month, not that he has been working for 100 Huntley Street, CTS or with other Crossroads projects. If David Mainse paid his son Reynold for photos out of Crossroads money, does the Crossroads board know? Would that payment be considered ethical by donors?
Reynold Mainse has a photography business, called Mainse Media Group, which, ironically is endorsed by George Woodward, the Secretary Treasurer of OBFF.
At what point does OBFF become an enabling party to an unresolved investigation?
I don’t believe Reynold Mainse was not warned about his involvement with Axcess Funds. The OSC acknowledges in the settlement with Ron Mainse that Ron Mainse had misgivings. I find it difficult to believe the brothers didn’t talk about concerns. And while Crossroads operates in it’s own bubble, I find it difficult to believe people knowledgeable about investing didn’t sound a warning to Reynold. Would ordination be forthcoming if Reynold had been warned?
The OBFF believes Reynold Mainse lost his home as a result of his involvement with Axcess Automation/Funds and the OSC investigation.
This belief is concerning for a couple of reasons.
Yes, Reynold Mainse moved recently. However if ‘he lost his home’ there are a couple of possible scenarios:
a) he may have made restitution with one or more investors from the proceeds of his house sale, but if he did he would be compromising his defense. What about the losses of other investors he allegedly found, and restitution with them? The OSC is investigating, no lawyer would advise his client to do pay back some people he allegedly brought into the ponzi scheme and not all.
b) perhaps Mainse has handed the OSC funds (restitution/fines) as a goodwill gesture. Hence the house move. That is a possibility if there was been an admission of guilt that has not yet been made public. If there has been an admission of guilt, why is there an ongoing investigation?
c) selling a home could be done to protect assets as a preventative measure against OSC findings down the road. If the new home is purchased, it could be in his wife’s name. The new home could be a rental, assets could be under a trustee. Divestment can also count against someone under investigation.
To believe Reynold Mainse ‘lost’ his home, opens up a can of worms for the OBFF.
Being an ordained minister is a privilege, and a calling, not a right. Would a mainline denomination ordain a man or woman who is under investigation? If they did and became aware of an ongoing investigation, would that denomination suspend the ministers licence until matters were resolved? The denomination could ill afford not to.
Accountability to the body matters, clear and public demonstrations of consequences speak loudly. If allowances are made, a door opens to all kinds of abuses. Followers of Christ and the public deserve better.
Reynold Mainse is innocent until found guilty or cleared, but until then, why isn’t his licence under suspension?
The OBFF management and board have an opportunity to re-evaluate their ordination/licensing decision and do their own investigation. Boards are tasked with diligence, to avoid all appearance of evil. When a secular agency like the OSC buckles down and does it’s job for investors and society, and followers of Christ lag far behind practising accountability, we are all the poorer.