James (Jim) Marlow is alleged to have stolen $264 000
Following an investigation by the RCMP and an external audit by Deloitte, former Coady International Institute Finance Director, James (Jim) Marlow is being accused of defrauding the Coady Institute of more than $200 000 dollars over a period of several years.
Marlow had been with the Coady Institute since 2007, until his dismissal following a review and audit of the institute’s finances and invoices from vendors. It is alleged in court documents obtained by the Xaverian, that Mr. Marlow had been creating fake invoices from three well-known third party vendors used by the Coady Institute in the past. Each invoice faked by Mr. Marlow would then have a cheque made and ‘held for pickup,” at which time Mr. Marlow would pick up the cheque or have it delivered to him under the trust that it would delivered by hand to the vendor, but instead was deposited into Mr. Marlow’s personal account. The amounts of each cheque are unknown at this time, but sources speaking with the Xaverian acknowledged that these were small amounts relative to the alleged total of the fraud committed by Mr. Marlow.
The alleged fraud was only uncovered when one of the cheques marked “hold for pickup,” by Mr. Marlow was inadvertently mailed to the vendor who then notified the institute that an error had been made and they were not due any payment. An audit of the institute’s finances was made where a number of fraudulent invoices, totalling $264 098 made out by Mr. Marlow, were discovered. Mr. Marlow was relieved of his duties and dismissed by the Institute and the University on July 19, when it was announced to staff and faculty that a breach of trust had occurred and the RCMP would be involved.
Court documents show that the auditing firm, Deloitte, discovered 32 fictitious invoices, of which only two were not cashed, valued at $20 125, and a separate amount of $14 950 is, as of yet, unaccounted for and will be the subject of further investigation.
Given the nature of the fraud and the common practice of holding cheques for later pickup instead of mailing them directly, it is possible that had the Institute not been informed by their vendor, that the alleged fraud of Mr. Marlow could have continued unnoticed.
After speaking with Andrew Beckett, the Vice-President of Finance & Administration, the administration is now working closely with Deloitte fraud investigators to create a list of recommended changes to prevent this kind of fraud from happening in the future. Mr. Beckett says that the administration is now in the process of finding a replacement for Mr. Marlow. The administration having received the resumes of potential candidates and in the coming months a position will be offered to a capable candidate, until such time however, the duties of the former Finance Director are being assumed across several capable positions.
StFX has begun legal proceedings against Mr. Marlow, seeking damages, repayment, in excess of $243 000 and has asked the courts to prevent Mr. Marlow from liquidating any assets, including a property purchased, that may be under his name, should the courts determine the guilt of Mr. Marlow.
All charges and accusations made against Mr. Marlow are alleged and have not been proven in court, neither has Mr. Marlow commenced with a defence against the allegations, although he has 15 days from the August 28 filing of the charges to do so.