Former charity chief executive jailed for five years for £900,000 fraud

03 Jan 2018 News

The former chief executive of Birmingham Dogs Home has been jailed for five years after defrauding the charity of around £900,000.

Simon Price, 53, of Somerton Drive, Solihull, was sentenced at the end of last year, after pleading guilty to 10 counts of fraud by abuse of position.

The offences took place between 2012 and 2016 at the charity, which is based in Solihull and has an annual income of around £2.7m.

Price’s wife, Alayna Price, 39, who was the charity’s head of fundraising, was given a two-year suspended sentence for five of the same counts of fraud, worth around £250,000.

The couple came under investigation from the economic crime unit at West Midlands Police in November 2016, when the Dogs Home reported £399,274 was missing from the sale of a trust property in New Bartholomew Street, Digbeth.

Two houses belonging to the couple have been seized by the police and will be sold. The money will be returned to the charity.

John Wheatley, chair of the charity, said: “We remain bitterly disappointed that a position of trust was abused in such a manner, but we now look to the future under the guidance of our new CEO and with measures in place to ensure something like this never happens again.

“Some of the funds have now been returned and we remain hopeful that more can be recovered.” 

Tracy Howarth, head of regulatory compliance at the Charity Commission, said: "All fraud in and against charities has the potential to be hugely damaging in diverting funds away from their intended cause. But when that fraud is committed by someone inside and trusted by the charity and its supporters, its impact can be all the more devastating and corrosive.

"We welcome today’s sentencing, which sends out a strong message that the abuse of charities for personal gain will not be tolerated."

 

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