By Amit Shilton
A Ryerson instructor says he is a victim after being named in a $2.7 million lawsuit that alleges he helped steal money from Toronto hospital operator Rouge Valley.
Child and youth care instructor Sheldon Reinsilber was the executive director of Delisle Youth Services, an outreach program for troubled youth from 1973 to 2003.
Rouge Va lawsuit alleges that between 1999 and 2007 Reinsilber helped run a false-invoice scheme through Delisle and a fake organization called Scarborough-York Mobile Rehabilitation with Uwe Marshner, former head of Rouge Valley’s mental health program.
Delisle and Scarborough-York Mobile Rehabilitation billed Rouge Valley for non-existent services that were approved by Marshner, the suit claims, adding Reinsilber then cut cheques to Marshner while keeping a portion for himself.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Last week, Marshner was ordered to pay $2 million after he failed to file a statement of defence. Reinsilber’s lawyer said no one has heard from Marshner.
“I did nothing and I’m being dragged through this ugly mess,” Reinsilber said. “I feel victimized to the bottom of my soul.
“I don’t even have a speeding ticket or parking tickets.”
Visibly shaken by the ordeal, Reinsilber said he fears losing his job at the university. As a contract employee, he feels his job might be at stake because of recent bad press.
Carol Stuart, the director of the school of child and youth care, refused to comment on Reinsilber’s job security.
“I’m on contract, what do you think is going to happen?” Reinsilber said.
In his statement of defence, he says he remained friends with Marshner, whom he describes as “a really nice guy,” until he realized he was being used in a fraudulent scheme. But he insists that organizations such as Delisle should not suffer because of a bad apple.
“I always believe that the vast majority are good, caring people,” he said. “God knows how you could ever predict someone was going to do that.”
Dr. Francis Hare, a colleague within the department, said he could never imagine Reinsilber doing something inappropriate.
“I think he’s fantastic,” he said. “He puts in long hours and does a great job.”
Apart from paying tens of thousands of dollars in lawyer fees, Reinsilber says the experience has been both physically and mentally draining.
He’s seen no reaction from the school or community, and says he is just waiting for the ordeal to blow over.
“It’s insanity beyond words,” he said. “It’s depressing, it’s demoralizing, it’s financially incredible.”
Rouge Valley’s lawyer, Greg MacKenzie, declined to comment on the case, which is still before the courts.