100 Huntley Street hosts suspended during Ponzi scheme probe
Ron and Reynold Mainse have been relieved of their duties as hosts of Christian program 100 Huntley Street after allegedly becoming involved in a $14.1-million Ponzi scheme.
Crossroads Christian Communications, the Canadian ministry behind 100 Huntley Street, has issued a statement saying ministry funds were not used in the scheme and that the brothers had made a private investment.
Crossroads founder David Mainse remains on the show, but his two sons were suspended in early June after it was learned their investments were being investigated by the U.S. Security Exchange Commission.
They had invested money with Gordon Driver, a neighbour of Ron Mainse in Freelton, Ont., whose company is called Axcess Automation.
The SEC alleges Driver was running a Ponzi scheme that drew $14.1 million US from more than 100 Canadian and U.S. investors.
Driver was promising weekly returns on investment as high as five per cent, based on special software he said he developed to trade futures.
The Ontario Securities Commission has ordered Driver and Axcess Automation to cease all trading and the SEC is seeking to seize its assets.
According to SEC court filings, Driver testified that he had worked for 100 Huntley Street as a teenager.
In a May 14 filing in California, the SEC accuses Ron and Reynold Mainse, who were hosts on 100 Huntley Street, of helping Driver recruit new investors.
However, Doug McKenzie, chief executive of Crossroads, says the Mainses made a "personal and private" investment in Axcess and did not draw from the ministry's pool of donors.
"Ron and Reynold Mainse will not be appearing on any Crossroads programming or otherwise represent Crossroads for the time being as they focus their energies on certain matters in their personal lives," the Crossroads board said in a statement.
"They've stepped down from their duties until such time as the board of directors have complete understanding of all the issues related to a matter that they were involved in outside of the ministry here at Crossroads," the statement said.
100 Huntley Street, a daily inspirational TV program, was launched in 1977 by Crossroads founder and evangelical minister David Mainse.