Christmas bonus scheme man to be sued by former member
7:10am Sunday 17th June 2012 in News
A man who ran a Christmas bonus scheme at a Sutton bus garage is being sued after tens of thousands of pounds went missing.
About £60,000 is estimated to have disappeared from the Sutton Garage Loan Club in a mystery that has yet to be solved.
Ian MacKenzie, 66, of Calthorpe Gardens, Sutton, who had run the account for more than 20 years, was charged with three counts of fraud after the cash went missing.
He was accused of abusing his position as club secretary to dishonestly loan cash to his girlfriend, Myra Hastings, his brother, Rod MacKenzie, and himself.
But all charges against him were dropped at Croydon Crown Court last year due to a lack of evidence.
Unhappy with the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to drop the case, one of the drivers who paid into the scheme, Perry Hunt, has decided to sue Mr Mackenzie for his part of the money that went missing.
Mr Mackenzie has always denied any wrongdoing.
His lawyers have written to Mr Hunt, who used to run the club with Mr Mackenzie, saying they will fully contest the case.
But if Mr Hunt, who claims he has IOUs to the account signed for by Mr Mackenzie, wins his claim for £554.81, others who lost money in the scheme hope the matter will stand as a test case.
Up to 200 members who worked or had worked at the bus garage, as well as their friends and relatives, could then take legal action against Mr MacKenzie, suing him for tens of thousands of pounds.
They paid in weekly or monthly installments into the loan club account, on the promise of getting the full amount, plus interest, paid back to them towards the end of the year, to help them pay for Christmas.
In 2009, when staff were hoping to take out their loans, it was found a large quantity of the cash was missing.
Mr Hunt said: “We were very disappointed when the case against him fell apart last year, but we are not willing to give up.”