Forensic accountants finds serious irregularities at food bank

Thursday, March 29, 2012   by: Kate AdamsFormer Food Bank Chair Joe Tranter
News Release


Al Rosen is considered one of Canada's premier forensic accountants. Recently, he was called in to put his investigative accounting skills to use, in northern Ontario, at the North Bay Food Bank.

This Food Bank, serving almost 2,000 people monthly, has been the subject of much media attention in recent weeks. The popular Executive Director, Ellen White had been calling for an audit and overhaul of this registered charity. This charity had no Annual General Meetings in its' 25-year-history, kept no Minutes of Meetings in over 16 years, and did not have an audit in just as long. Many others in the community had been calling for the same thing, and continue to.

Joe Tranter was appointed Chair of the North Bay Food Bank on November 7, 2011. Chair Joe Tranter called for a forensic audit which commenced On March 5, 2012.

On March 6, former board members of the North Bay Food Bank held a meeting that they called an 'AGM', without the knowledge of current Board members, including the Chair. The Executive Director, media, and members of the public were not advised. At this meeting, a "new" Board - made up for the most part of Directors long gone, was elected.

The first course of business for this "new" Board was to go to the Food Bank and throw out the Executive Director and the Chair, claiming the Food Bank as their own. This was done in a way that someone compared to "pirates hijacking a ship'. No court orders, no legal documents, just raised voices and a show of force.

Al Rosen has submitted his preliminary observations, and his findings indicate "serious irregularities regarding the financial and operational management" of this Food Bank. These findings were prior to Executive Director Ellen White and Chair Joe Tranter’s tenure and during the time that the old (now "new") Board was in charge.

At this time, the Executive Director, the rightful and appointed Board Chair, virtually all long-time dedicated volunteers and the one other paid employee are on lock-out. The Executive Director and Chair have been given Trespass Notices by the people who took over the Food Bank. Programs are dissolving, and the community is suffering.

A court action has been launched to take back the Food Bank, return the Executive Director to her position and get the volunteers and staff back working to serve the community once again.

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Meghan 3/29/2012 5:36:02 PM Report

I would like to know more about what the "serious irregularities" are. Are we talking money and how much?
Rosiee1 3/29/2012 6:31:29 PM Report

This is exactly why you need to be careful of where you donate your hard earned money.
Tripper83 3/29/2012 7:04:33 PM Report

I'm so happy to see the truth coming out!! And this shouldn't at all be a reason to not trust this amazing agency under the direction of Elken White. When she blew the whistle on these financial problems as she came across them (before her time as ED no record keeping of expenses was in place?!) she was bullied out of her position by this 'new' board, that I'd like to remind reads is 'fully supported' by our mayor.

Can't wait to see this 'New' board with egg all over their faces.
I am Canadian 3/29/2012 8:15:40 PM Report

500,000.00$ in the account.
mac3 3/29/2012 8:26:42 PM Report

All the documents are at the court house for all to read and from their own opinion. I wish I could post them here but not sure how to do it. Al Rosen's report says it all. We look forward to soon being back in the building serving our clients in the way they deserve and feeding the pets which has been stopped.
L Champagne 3/29/2012 8:33:33 PM Report

Ted Hargreaves, Dick Dinnes, John Cutsey, Katharine Strang, Marty Martinello, Bob Hudson, and Garth Goodhew are members of the "new" board. They have Mayor Al's support.
I am Canadian 3/29/2012 8:46:27 PM Report

Mazey 3/29/2012 10:54:34 PM Report

Weird that it says that volunteers are locked out, because it's not true.
Not me 3/30/2012 7:12:10 AM Report

Rosiee1 3/29/2012 6:31:29 PM Report
This is exactly why you need to be careful of where you donate your hard earned money.
Well I know a group of us who have a challenge to lose weight and we donated $5.00 each to go to the Food Bank...... We are taking and BUYING $55.00 worth of FOOD not giving the money to them.

It is sad to see this happen in our community more so when the Food Bank is needed for so many people.
We will have to wait and see what the outcome will be.
KrazyKatz 3/30/2012 9:59:27 AM Report

The Food Bank needs food right now .... NOT MONEY. The Food Bank has tonnes of money but chooses NOT to use it for food!!! Check out CRA charities website for "North Bay Soup Kitchen Inc" (which is the Food Bank) and you will see the kind of money they have!!! Good for your group "Not me" for getting them food instead on money.
Mark Facette 3/30/2012 10:35:43 AM Report

Al was in favour of dismantling this Honorable CHARITY board. How many other CHARITIES is he involved with? The City of North Bay's budget? We need conscientious leadership. Someone should look a little deeper into this for the sake of every tax payer and citizen.
Tripper83 3/30/2012 10:59:41 AM Report

Unfortunately these 'new' board members have influence in this community and support from people who have no idea what they are allegedly responsible for when it comes to this audit and the misspending before the board and new chair were elected in 2011. I'm hoping the mayor only supported this board because he had no idea what he was talking about because if he knew, I'm shocked.
Continue to support this charity with food donations because there are people who need it but I wouldn't be donating any money until Ellen White is in charge again.

And yes, long term volunteers and supports of Ellen and John ARE 'locked out', that IS true. I'd still like to know who the 50 members of the public who voted this new board in are as I'm pretty sure that never happened. This new board should be ashamed of their actions as all they have done is erode the support of the community. I can tell you I won't be supporting any organization that I see any of the 'new'board members involved in.
WAG 3/30/2012 11:30:03 AM Report

Why didn't Mr. Tranter put Mr. Rosen's report in some kind of format for all to read. Been told, not sure if true, but Mr. Tranter and Ms. White have a personal relationship?
Tripper83 3/30/2012 11:52:09 AM Report

The findings so far are preliminary maybe that is why he hasnt released the report? That and charges are likely to be filed.

Personal relationship? Ha.

Someone should probably be asking this 'new' board about their personal relationships because that is relevant.
mac3 3/30/2012 11:55:57 AM Report

The full report and sworn statements are at the court house for all to read. You can go in and ask and read all. The audit takes 3 months this is just what they have found so far. So take a walk over to the court house and read the reports your self and then please post another comment.
mac3 3/30/2012 12:04:07 PM Report

This is not a mud slinging page "Wag". My gosh do you not even wonder what has happened to any of your donations over the years. Please go and read the documents at the court house. Al Rosen is one of the top auditors in the country.
This is just a bt about Al Rosen
Dr. Al Rosen, Ph.D., FCA, FCMA, CPA (USA), CFE, FHKSA, CIP, CA.IFA is the current chairman of the Canadian Justice Review Board.

Dr. Al Rosen is one of Canada's leading forensic accountants who has given expert accounting testimony in Canada's highest courts; is a fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Ontario and Alberta, a certified fraud examiner, and a specialist in investigative and forensic accounting. For 15 years he served as a technical advisor to three Auditors' General of Canada.

Dr. Rosen has taught accounting at universities across North America. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1957 and later earned his M.B.A. degree from the University of Washington. In 1966, he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He founded Rosen & Associates Ltd. in 1990

Dr. Rosen has consulted or given independent opinions on over 750 litigation-related engagements. He has provided expert testimony or affidavits in jurisdictions across Canada, including the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the Supreme Court of Canada. Al is the author or co-author of several texts on accounting and hundreds of articles in numerous publications.

In addition to having his MBA and PhD, he is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Ontario and Alberta (FCA), a Fellow of the Society of Management Accountants (FCMA), a Fellow of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants (FHKSA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a specialist, Investigative and Forensic Accounting (CA•IFA).



KrazyKatz 3/30/2012 12:09:14 PM Report

@ WAG .... you have stooped to an all time low. Of course there is "no personal relationship", but this shows the depth of the smear campaign that Mr Tranter and Ms White and their loving families have had to endure ... all for standing up for "doing the right thing". As for the respected and reputable Mr Rosen, his 8 page report can be found on file at the North Bay courthouse ... obviously it is too long to print here. Once again, this is about the financials, not the people .... lets focus on that. You should visit the CRA charities website and look for the "North Bay Soup Kitchen Inc." detailed financials ...
laceyjdog 3/30/2012 1:31:01 PM Report

Wag you are way off base concerning Ellen White and Joe Tranter. Their's is a business relationship.

There is an old ad edge that goes. "The wheels of justice grind exceeding slow, but they also grind exceedingly fine." In other words the truth will come out in the end. And it is a judge who will decide what is truth or fiction. All you need do is walk your self down to the court house and go look at the documents.
WAG 3/30/2012 1:32:28 PM Report

Wow, It was not my intent to mudsling. I understood that there was a relationship, brother/sister, cousin, etc and people do look after family. Should not have used the word personal. Whether there is one or not I really do not care anymore, besides the majority of responses today are mudslinging.
And yes, Mr. Rosen is one of the most respected forensic accountants in Canada and probably North America. He also charges accordingly and who paid or is paying for this report?
PeterR 3/30/2012 2:00:01 PM Report


mac3 3/30/2012 2:03:16 PM Report

wag when you run a chairty you are required by law to have an audit each year. There has been none for 25 years so what ever Mr Rosen chagres will be less then what should have been piad out over the last 25 years. Audits are just part of doing business to keep the chairty honest.
I am not going to repeat what is in the report I have gone to the court house and read it you really ought to do the same and by the way I would tune in to cogeco nexs tonight at 5:30 or 6.
JayDee 3/30/2012 4:28:16 PM Report an aside, I am glad someone
gave the web site for Canadian charities....
If you click on the heading 'name of the Municipality' it puts the towns in alphabetical order.. It has a list of registered charities, our town starting around page 607 I think it was (took some time) and the financial statements in some instances are quite surprising. Also, some charities listed have not submitted the required information for years but are still asking us for donations. Maybe the whole system needs some scrutiny?
Five for fighting 3/30/2012 4:56:15 PM Report

If we do not give any food or cash donations to the food bank then won't they be forced to use their money? Since when does a food bank become a cash cow?
mac3 3/30/2012 5:33:28 PM Report

My name is Dewar MacKenzie and the one thing I hate is anonymity. These responses are a good example why. Would people be so quick to act emotionally with complete disregard to logic if they thought they might need to defend their statements? The right people are investigating. Lets wait to be informed of what really took place and proceed from there.
mac3 3/30/2012 7:47:17 PM Report

Interesting cocego news report tonight. Things are moving in the right direction
KrazyKatz 3/30/2012 11:41:49 PM Report

Yes, the COGECO news had good coverage. Thanks COGECO!
Mazey 3/31/2012 12:30:36 AM Report

Tripper83 - "And yes, long term volunteers and supports of Ellen and John ARE 'locked out', that IS true."

Your statement is false. Some of the previous volunteers have returned. Some of the volunteers that were asked to boycott, have made their own decisions to continue to volunteer.
KrazyKatz 3/31/2012 8:26:07 AM Report

@Mazey ... no volunteer was EVER ASKED to boycott ... in fact, all volunteers are grown thinking adults. The volunteers that were there the night that Ms White was forced out, with MANY WITNESSES, are not returning.
Mazey 3/31/2012 8:56:03 AM Report

Again, your statement is incorrect. Some community groups that provide volunteers were indeed called and asked to refrain from said volunteering. It's sad really.
KrazyKatz 3/31/2012 9:28:09 AM Report

@Mazey .... I certainly know for a fact that Mr Tranter and Ms White HAVE NEVER told anyone to BOYCOTT. In fact they have always encouraged others to assist the less fortunate and continue to do. Perhaps other folks that are well aware of many issues surrounding the food bank are making their own decisions. As a long term valuable experienced volunteer, I have formed my own decision to stay way from this "new board and food Bank". Enough about the "he said, she said", all of the community need to focus on the financials ... I am hoping that the 1/2 million dollars is now being spent to purchase food for the needy ...
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