|Trustee Used Charity to Launder Money Made through Brothel|
An anti-poverty charity is under investigation by the Charity Commission after a trustee was convicted of using the organization to launder money made at a brothel.
The Commission launched an inquiry into London-based anti-poverty charity Urban Relief following concerns raised by "the conviction of a trustee".
In January one of the charity's trustees was jailed for 10 months for the “management of a brothel and concealing criminal property” at Crown Court.
The Commission also undertook a number of enquiries into the charity’s finances and identified that the income and expenditure reported by the trustees in the charity’s annual returns “did not match the amount of funds that flowed through the charity’s bank accounts”.
The inquiry will look at whether charitable funds have been misapplied for non-charitable purposes, and whether trustees are able to properly account for the charity’s income and expenditure.
It will also assess whether trustees have fulfilled their legal duties and responsibilities to “safeguard the charity’s property and assets including whether they have correctly exercised their legal duty of prudence”.
The charity, whose stated aims are to relieve poverty and financial hardship among West African people by providing food, clothing and housing, is 166 days overdue on filing its accounts with the Commission.
A statutory inquiry into Urban Relief was opened by the Charity Commission in February, but the announcement was delayed because no announcements about inquiries were made during Purdah, the pre-election period when governmental bodies are restricted in what public statements they can make.
The charity has not responded to an invitation to comment.
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Published on our website on May.21, 2015