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Fraud and financial abuse among most common problems: Charity Commission

20 December 2013

Fraud and financial abuse were among the most common problems encountered by the Charity Commission.

Looking at the time period between April 2012 and April 2013, nearly 80% of the Commission's investigations into charities last year featured fraud, financial abuse and financial mismanagement, according to a report looking at the Commission’s investigations and compliance work over the past year.

These issues were of primary concern in 23 of the Commission's 29 most serious investigations;  in a third of the serious incidents reported by charities to the regulator (398 out of a total of 971); and in 43 whistleblowing reports about charities out of a total of 98. 

In addition, fraud and theft featured in 45 operational compliance cases, and serious financial mismanagement or concerns about the misapplication of funds featured in 64 operational compliance cases.

The figures are cited in the Commission's annual report of its investigatory and compliance case work, ‘Tackling abuse and mismanagement’, which sets out the regulator's approach to identifying and tackling serious abuse in charities, provides details of the volume and nature of its investigations and compliance case work and includes case studies. 

Sam Younger, the Commission's chief executive said: ‘Those serious cases must be a top priority for us as regulator, as they are most damaging to the public trust and confidence on which all charities rely.’

He added that by ‘taking a tougher approach to non-compliance in charities and using our powers more frequently in cases which are the most serious, we can protect charity funds at risk and ensure we are better able to identify and deal with individuals who negligently or deliberately abuse charities, making them accountable to the regulator and in turn the public for their wrong doing’.

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