Rick Hayhow, formerly the CFO of Imagine Adoption Agency, pled guilty in fall to fraud charges in connection with the bankruptcy of Imagine Adoption in July 2009, and he was sentenced at the end of last week: Six months' house arrest; and 18 months probation-with-a-curfew thereafter; he is also to make restitution in the amount of $15,000. He also now has a permanent criminal conviction for fraud. The amount he was convicted for was 'only' $87,000, a fraction of the total amounts pilfered from the agency's funds but which he pled guilty to and admitted to using for personal expenditures.
He was considered by the judge to be "blinded" by love for his wife, Sue Hayhow (formerly CEO of the adoption agency), and willing to do whatever she wanted in order to save their 24-year marriage. Hmm...really?? If so, then I'm hoping this will mean that when Sue Hayhow's (re)trial begins this summer, she really will be viewed as the mastermind behind the missing funds and be treated accordingly.
The judge rebuked Rick Hayhow for violating the Christian beliefs he espouses and said that he knew better than to violate the laws on the stone tablet that are foundational to Christianity. To the best of my knowledge, Hayhow did not speak to the court and so I don't believe that he has yet ever apologized to the families for the horrific time that he and his (ex) wife put us all through; the judge acknowledged that a lot of pain had been caused by Rick Hayhow's actions, but it frankly would have felt a whole lot better had we actually (finally) heard something from one of the Hayhows themselves.
When I think about the abject despair that so many families went through back in '09; when I think of the children who were left without enough food in the agency's transition home in Ethiopia and the staff who stayed to take care of them despite not being paid; when I think about the financial hardships and lost adoption dreams of many of those families; well, when I think of these things, the trial outcome for Rick Hayhow hardly seems just. The pain caused by the Hayhows is something I remember with great clarity six years later. I still have nightmares about it sometimes. In that context, the sentence is rather insulting to families.
And yet, having chosen to forgive Rick and Sue Hayhow years ago means that I can still experience peace and appreciate that at least some resolution of the legal matters has happened.
Rightly or wrongly, adoptive families affected by the mess tend to think that, as the face of the agency and the overseer of everything, Sue Hayhow should bear the brunt of the responsibility for what happened; my hope is that she might receive actual jail time should she be found guilty this summer. I'm really, really waiting to see the outcome of her trial.
There is a little peace to be had in the news. We knew when the trial began that fraud is notoriously difficult for the Crown to prove; so I wasn't expecting much following his guilty plea. And maybe his guilt can be used in a verdict against Sue Hayhow?? I'm not sure how that will work.
Anyway, below are two articles; the second article provides more details; this first one also gives you access to a couple of short videos about the sentencing: No Jail Time for Rick Hayhow.
From The Record, in Kitchener Waterloo, here is a link to the article posted in full below: No Jail for Executive's Blind Greed