Company owner says RCMP won’t lay charges against ex-employee
Ian Binstead says a former employee stole more than $200,000 from his family business in Richmond, B.C., but the RCMP won’t press charges.
The co-owner of Galleon Marine Inc. told CTV News they had evidence of thefts totaling “just under $220,000 over a four-year period.”
According to Binstead, approximately 70 transactions took place in which the employee refunded money using a debit/credit card terminal attached to a computer in the office next door to his.
“She would put in a Visa card or a debit card and process refunds for herself,” said Binstead, who added that the employee would process refunds during peak season, when business was booming and concentrated. on sales.
An accountant spotted the missing funds, prompting Binstead to sift through hundreds of pages of transactions over the years, collecting evidence. The company eventually reported the missing money to the police in January 2021.
At first, police appeared to take the investigation very seriously, Binstead said. Officers conducted several interviews with Binstead and communicated with him regularly.
During the investigation, Binstead sued the former employee to try to recover some of his money – but said he first contacted the police to find out if a civil suit would jeopardize the investigation.
“We asked the RCMP if we could do it. Can we continue with this? Will this interfere with your investigation? We asked them multiple times and the answer was no,” Binstead said. “(They said) criminal and civil are two completely separate things, you can pursue your civil action.”
In civil court, the former employee signed a consent order admitting that she owed Galleon Marine a total of $218,820.14.
“She didn’t even argue,” Binstead said.
Binstead believed the admission would help bring speedy justice to the criminal case. However, in an unexpected twist, the civil case ended up causing police to decide not to pursue the charges.
“This matter has been taken to civil court and has been resolved,” the corporal said. Richmond RCMP’s Dennis Hwang told CTV News in a statement. “Civil resolutions before the completion of a criminal investigation can complicate their resolution.
A criminal lawyer told CTV News that civil cases should not interfere with the criminal court process.
“To hear that the RCMP have closed the investigation in light of the civil resolution that may have been reached strikes me as somewhat unusual,” said Jason Tarnow, criminal defense attorney at Tarnow & Co. “I don’t know why. they would have done that.
Tarnow said the civil resolution should have helped the RCMP in their investigation.
“If they have a signed confession or guilty plea, that would solidify the offense and really make the police investigation much easier, in my opinion,” he added.
Tarnow says cases of internal theft are not taken lightly by the courts, with those found guilty often ending up in jail.
In the meantime, Binstead has not recovered any of his former employee’s funds and his insurance does not cover the theft.
“I’m just very, very disappointed because now this thief can go get a job at the next small business and do the same thing,” Binstead said.
Despite the significant setback, Binstead said he was exploring alternative options for justice.