Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$......

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: lilfssister, North Shore, ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, I WAS Birddog

midwingcrisis
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:54 pm

Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$......

Post by midwingcrisis »

http://aptn.ca/news/2014/03/06/wasaya-a ... edit-card/


Kenneth Jackson and Cullen Crozier
APTN Investigates
Around the same time Transport Canada inspectors were finding major safety violations at Wasaya Airways last March, the board of directors was informed that one of company’s vice-presidents may have stolen thousands of dollars using his corporate credit card.

The board was told immediate action would be taken to strip Jonathon Mamakwa’s credit card and they’d also get Mamakwa to repay the money they allege he had taken.

The internal emails describing the allegations suggest some of the money was spent at casinos.

While the board was first learning of this, Transport Canada was inspecting Wasaya’s safety management system and found it to be in non-compliance with regulations as APTN Investigates reported Feb. 27.

See also: Debt-ridden Wasaya Airways in ‘danger of collapsing’ forced to sell assets

Visa records obtained by APTN, and interviews with confidential sources, suggest Mamakwa misused more than $160,000.

But after the March board meeting the card wasn’t immediately cut off.

In fact, documents allege Mamakwa kept misusing it, and the first meeting to try to resolve the issue didn’t take place until late June.

According to sources, this created apparent friction between Wasaya Airways president Tom Morris and Wasaya Group’s former president Tom Kam who wanted the card taken away. Kam inquired about the situation on July 5.

“Did Tom M do anything with Jonathan’s visa?” Kam wrote in an email to Maureen Sitch, the vice-president of finance for Wasaya Airways.

“(Morris) talked to him about it but Jonathon used it again this past week for a cash advance at the casino. So Tom said he would talk to him again. He didn’t take it away that I know of,” Sitch responded in an email.

A few days later Kam met with Sitch and discussed the matter further, according to emails.

Kam then approached Morris directly July 12 in an email.

“What’s happening with his credit card? You need to fix this,” said Kam.

Morris wrote Kam saying “it will be fixed.”

The card was apparently taken away and a repayment plan was scheduled the board was told July 17, according to documents and sources.

But that didn’t sit well with Kam.

It also wasn’t enough for Gordon Beardy, chief of Muskrat Dam First Nation which is one of 12 First Nations that own Wasaya Airways.

Beardy, and the board of directors, directed Kam to file a police complaint because they didn’t believe simply paying the money back was acceptable.

“Chief Beardy believes this is wrong, it is wrong to steal from us, the owners. and (sic) he would like to see an investigation into this,” wrote Kam July 26 to the chief of Thunder Bay police.

It’s believed this was one of the last actions by Kam as president of the Wasaya Group as he had already planned to resign months prior.

However, jurisdiction to investigate the matter wasn’t with Thunder Bay police but rather with Anishinbek police, Wasaya was told.

So Kam’s replacement as acting president of Wasaya Group, MaryEllen Thomas, was directed by the board to contact Anishinbek police with the same fraud complaint against Mamakwa.

APTN was told Thomas did just that and provided the Anishinabek police with documents to show the alleged misuse of money.

According to Anishinabek Police Sgt. Rob Pelletier, a fraud complaint was officially made by the Wasaya board on Aug. 8.

But a day later, the board of directors was fired by a majority vote of the ownership chiefs, according to sources. This was confirmed by two of the fired board members. The chiefs then took the place of the fired directors and became the new board of directors.

A week later, Thomas was suspended and her work email disabled. A couple of days later she was fired, APTN was told.

But the investigation by Anishnabek police had already started.

Police told Wasaya they would be coming to their headquarters in Thunder Bay later that month as part of the investigation.

On Aug. 15, investigators “instructed” Wasaya on a few points prior to their arrival. That was also a day before Thomas was fired.

Police wanted Wasaya to secure all files related to Mamakwa’s credit card and take “all the necessary measures to prevent access and secure all company property from” him.

Investigators also instructed Wasaya to immediately terminate the lease payments to Mamakwa’s company vehicle, according to an internal company email.

According to a document, Wasaya had agreed to pay for a company vehicle for Mamakwa but the ownership of the vehicle was found to be in Mamakwa’s name and not Wasaya’s. This was apparently against company policy.

Then on Aug. 28 police arrived at Wasaya in Thunder Bay.

Sgt. Pelletier told APTN that upon their arrival a “representative” of Wasaya handed them a letter, telling them they weren’t needed and that the matter of the alleged fraud was being handled internally.

Police immediately dropped the investigation.

When questioned, Pelletier said any questions about why the investigation was dropped should be directed to Wasaya. He said in his mind Wasaya made the complaint and Wasaya was taking it back.

According to sources, the letter informing police that the matter would be handled internally was written by Sandy Lake First Nation Chief Bart Meekis, also now chair of the board made up of chiefs, and Kingfisher Lake Chief James Mamakwa, who is the cousin of Jonathan Mamakwa.

It’s believed the letter was handed to police by Morris.

In another twist, when the board was suddenly fired by the chiefs, the majority of ownership chiefs ripped up the resignation letters of Tom Morris and Jonathan Mamakwa. They both had planned on resigning months earlier for unconfirmed reasons.

APTN has copies of their resignation letters.

But even before the board was fired, not everyone wanted them to quit.

In May, Morris’ cousin and chief of Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, Donny Morris wrote the former board saying they wouldn’t accept either of the men’s resignations.

Donny Morris said he wasn’t part of the vote to fire the board because Morris is his cousin.

APTN has learned Jonathan Mamakwa was earning approximately $142,000 with an option for bonuses at the time. He’s currently listed as the vice-president of customer relations and business development. His bio says he used to work for the Kingfisher First Nation.

Tom Morris has refused to comment on “internal” Wasaya matters after first offering to meet with APTN in person by flying a reporter to Thunder Bay and paying for their hotel accommodations.

The allegations that Jonathan Mamakwa misused a company credit card were put before him in an email to his boss Tom Morris so he could have the opportunity to respond to them.

Morris responded “no comment.”

kjackson@aptn.ca

ccrozier@aptn.ca
---------- ADS -----------
  
How do you go 205 kts TAS on 32 gal/hr without turbos!

crazy_aviator
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 917
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:13 am

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by crazy_aviator »

$160,000.00 spent by an indian chief, courtesy of taxpayers money is a drop in the bucket compared to the BILLIONS wasted away on reserves!! ( read subsidies etc) Are we too politically correct to be incapable of collectively pulling our heads out of our asses ??? :rolleyes:
---------- ADS -----------
  

SeptRepair
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 773
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Central Vancouver Island.

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by SeptRepair »

Why is it that aviation seems to attract the slimiest of people. This industry is riddled with inept leadership.
---------- ADS -----------
  
How can you tell which one is the pilot when you walk into a bar?....Don't worry he will come up and tell you.

zulutime
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 146
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:57 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by zulutime »

crazy_aviator wrote:$160,000.00 spent by an indian chief, courtesy of taxpayers money is a drop in the bucket compared to the BILLIONS wasted away on reserves!! ( read subsidies etc) Are we too politically correct to be incapable of collectively pulling our heads out of our asses ??? :rolleyes:
You seem to suggest that the $160k should be ignored since there is misuse of public money elsewhere. With that attitude no wrongdoings would ever get investigated and rectified. One has nothing to do with the other. If there are allegations of misuse of corporate funds it should be fully investigated by an outside source who doesn't have a dog in the fight. From what I have read so far it doesn't look like that is going to happen. Rather, it appears to be swept under the rug internally. What a shame!
---------- ADS -----------
  

Airmanship Police
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:10 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Airmanship Police »

Can anyone tell me if there is a training bond at Wasaya and what the conditions are like pay sched ect?
---------- ADS -----------
  

sstaurus
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 4:32 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by sstaurus »

Airmanship Police wrote:Can anyone tell me if there is a training bond at Wasaya and what the conditions are like pay sched ect?
:lol:
---------- ADS -----------
  

crazy_aviator
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 917
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:13 am

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by crazy_aviator »

Zulu, I was being tongue -in - cheek, ALL manner of theft should be investigated and prosecuted . As far as bonds, I would imagine that if you hold a status card, its all waived !
---------- ADS -----------
  

mattas350
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 12:38 am

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by mattas350 »

crazy_aviator wrote:Zulu, I was being tongue -in - cheek, ALL manner of theft should be investigated and prosecuted . As far as bonds, I would imagine that if you hold a status card, its all waived !
No it's not waived if your status. Best of luck to all the front line guys at Wasaya, good group of pilots and maintenance to fly and work with.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Liquid Charlie
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1461
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:40 am
Location: YXL
Contact:

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Liquid Charlie »

While 160 grand is a good sum of money it's peanuts to the total cash flow -- it does indicate that something smells for sure but we are talking millions of dollars somewhere -- and I doubt people are skimming that much although the 160,000 could just be the tip of the iceberg -- if as an airline they are not making money with such a strangle hold on area business maybe they are not charging enough for their services -- maybe they got too aggressive in bidding contracts after loosing part of the fuel to Calm Air -- the sked business in NWO is so cut throat and slimy -- I can't believe how much service these reserves get -- it's crazy not only do you have all the other companies chipping away doing on demand unit toll you up the service frequency and compete against yourself -- Manitoba is much the same -- it's fuking crazy -- all that service for settlements of less than 1000 people --

Maybe some airport improvements as well -- when it comes to freight -- bigger is better --

The only thing I do object to is the racial slurs and the First Nations bashing -- just look at some of the other groups of individuals and abusers in this industry -- they all suck money from investors and government alike --
---------- ADS -----------
  
Black Air has no Lift - Extra Fuel has no Weight

ACTPA :kriz:

Gravol
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Gravol »

Good point LC. The colour of ones skin does not influence or make one prone to embezzlement. However, if Wasaya and other nations are going to use the race card as a method of dodging inquiry, they are going to be scrutinized.

Chris Mazza could have certainly learned a thing or two from Tom Morris. Just claim it's an internal matter. Yes, I'm sure that would have worked out well for him. I know I know, Wasaya is totally private and does not profit from the tax payer dollar anywhere along the line and Ornge....well, terrible comparison so we won't go there.

Operationally, awesome people working at Wasaya. They are the victims in this. The people who get screwed week by week by a bunch of "corporate" swine (they aren't even worthy of the corporate title), who should have been shit canned long ago. Great guys and gals stuck with bonds working their asses off while these feeble minded parasites take cash advances at Casinos on a company credit card.

A race issue? Not really. The defense is actually insulting and getting very old. Why can't people just be held accountable for their actions. Had this been Bearskin we would be playing a very different tune.

Life is good ain't it Tom Morris?
---------- ADS -----------
  

Gravol
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Gravol »

crazy_aviator wrote:$160,000.00 spent by an indian chief, courtesy of taxpayers money is a drop in the bucket compared to the BILLIONS wasted away on reserves!! ( read subsidies etc) Are we too politically correct to be incapable of collectively pulling our heads out of our asses ??? :rolleyes:
No.

None the less, it's just another fictional story which goes ignored. 160 grand on one person is quite the lot of money!
---------- ADS -----------
  

2R
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4052
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 2:25 pm
Location: left coast

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by 2R »

So if someone steals in Thunder Bay they can claim diplomatic immunity from investigation because they are "different"

Please do not complain when you get the different treatment.

No wonder the police cannot find the missing women, if they are not allowed to even talk to an ALLEGED thief. Then, they certainly would not be allowed to talk to those who are disappearing women.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Liquid Charlie
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1461
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:40 am
Location: YXL
Contact:

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Liquid Charlie »

Operationally, awesome people working at Wasaya. They are the victims in this.
I hear that -- worked with the MEC during the initial ALPA days -- those guys put up with a lot of shi1t but managed to get some inroads --
---------- ADS -----------
  
Black Air has no Lift - Extra Fuel has no Weight

ACTPA :kriz:

midwingcrisis
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:54 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by midwingcrisis »

“We are 100 per cent safe and we’ll be here for a long time,” Morris said.


http://www.wawataynews.ca/archive/all/2 ... rris_25449
---------- ADS -----------
  
How do you go 205 kts TAS on 32 gal/hr without turbos!

AEROMONKEY
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 395
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:19 pm
Location: Thunder Bay

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by AEROMONKEY »

Maybe someone should ask why all of the company brass are driving brand new BMWs that from what i've heard are paid for by wasaya.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Gravol
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:55 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Gravol »

Asking that question would be racist. Careful, you may bring the apologists out of the wood works.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Minimums
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 120
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:08 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Minimums »

Was told one time that the 'janitor' there, goes about his business, and 3 times a week would empty the waste paper cans from the offices. Some offices were legit; full of shredded papers, files, broken staplers, otherwise normal office supply waste. Then there were offices of 'certain' managers, much like the once listed above. The only thing in 5 years they emptied from their waste cans was empty robins and tims coffee cups. So this, is not surprising.

Also know of another certain 'manager' there, that would post a sign on his office door in yqt, stating that since the weather was warm (spring imminent) that he would be out of the office more to play golf, and could be reached on his phone in case of emergency. True story.

Let sleeping dogs Lie.
---------- ADS -----------
  

midwingcrisis
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:54 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by midwingcrisis »

Oh please do tell . What would the Anishinabek Police know about corporate fraud? Either nothing or fully engulfed.

http://aptn.ca/news/2014/03/11/wasaya-a ... anagement/
---------- ADS -----------
  
How do you go 205 kts TAS on 32 gal/hr without turbos!

User avatar
oldncold
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 869
Joined: Thu May 13, 2004 11:17 am
Location: north of 49N latitude south of 78N lat

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by oldncold »

THIS KINDA makes the senate scandal look like a tempest in a tea pot ,at least the worn out tax payer has a shot at getting their money back

not a chance here .really feel for the f/o gutting it out for 30k a year being told he cant get a raise, bad, very bad to morale of front line workers :smt014 :prayer:
---------- ADS -----------
  

trey kule
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4588
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 7:09 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by trey kule »

I would enjoy seeing the resumes of these 150k plus a year managers to see what experience and qualifications they bring to the job.
And the Successful business experience of the board of directors.

This high pay for incompetent people on Indian owned businesses has been going on for years. Many many years. The govt will eventually just reach into the taxpayers pocket and bail them out.
---------- ADS -----------
  
Everyone is a genius in hindsight

chu me
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:48 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by chu me »

Dear Trey Kule;

I think what I ( or me ) and the other "apologists " are trying to say is that far worse scandals take place on a daily basis in life. Think of the banking collapse in the USA in 2008 where almost a trillion dollars of taxpayers money was used to "bail out " the banks to replace money that was riped off by the bank executives and no charges have been laid. Yet, no one, has said it is a problem with "white " businesses. To point out that there has been some sort of fraud is not wrong, to say "This high pay for incompetent people on Indian owned businesses has been going on for years. Many many years. The govt will eventually just reach into the taxpayers pocket and bail them out " is racist while you ignore other more serious frauds commited all around you in everyday life. Thanks for listening.

Sincerely

Chu me


There I'm done boys........have at'er
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Colonel Sanders
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7512
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Over Macho Grande

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Colonel Sanders »

I think you're saying that theft is ok?

I can't speak much for Wall St in the USA,
but everyone in Ontario knows there are
two sets of laws: one for white people,
and another set for natives:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/201 ... standards/
It was the Dalton McGuinty government that first enabled the lawlessness and differentiated policing — one sort for natives, the other for non-natives — that marked the oft-violent occupation of a housing estate in Caledonia in 2006.

For anyone with the collective modern attention span of 90 seconds, it was the OPP that was responsible for policing the 2006 occupation and presiding over the disgrace that ensued in that small town.

The force has many terrific officers, but they were under orders from the February day the occupation began to take a hands-off approach to native law-breaking.

The reserve is also one of the places where the car-theft business flourishes, which is why residents of nearby Brantford and Hamilton have the highest rates of car theft in the province.

Ms. Munroe called the dispatch. She “was told that the officers did not enter the reserve as it was too dangerous.”
---------- ADS -----------
  

chu me
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 191
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 3:48 pm

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by chu me »

Dear Crazy_Aviator;

You are right........$160,000.00 spent by an indian chief, courtesy of taxpayers money IS a drop in the bucket compared to the BILLIONS wasted away on OIL reserves!! ( read subsidies of an antiquated and evironmentally devastating energy source being mined in the Alberta tarsands, etc) Are we too politically correct to be incapable of collectively pulling our heads out of our asses ???

Sincerely

Chu me
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Colonel Sanders
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7512
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Over Macho Grande

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Colonel Sanders »

160,000.00 IS a drop in the bucket
Could you write me a cheque for that amount?

I'd really prefer certified and NOT post-dated if
it's all the same (just a drop in the bucket) to you.

Thanks,
---------- ADS -----------
  

Longtimer
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 475
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 7:31 am

Re: Wasaya Airways’ VP accused of racking up thousands $$$..

Post by Longtimer »

chu me wrote:Dear Crazy_Aviator;

You are right........$160,000.00 spent by an indian chief, courtesy of taxpayers money IS a drop in the bucket compared to the BILLIONS wasted away on OIL reserves!! ( read subsidies of an antiquated and evironmentally devastating energy source being mined in the Alberta tarsands, etc) Are we too politically correct to be incapable of collectively pulling our heads out of our asses ???

Sincerely

Chu me
How about some "real" facts and numbers and please include the $$$$ generated in Jobs...... so we can see the net cost / revenue.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”