Commission opens regulatory compliance case into children’s charity backed by Blairs

26 Aug 2021 News

The charity regulator has opened a regulatory compliance case into Dot Com Children’s Foundation.

The regulator was alerted to potential concerns about the governance of the charity, and the Times published an investigative piece revealing a series of fraudulent activites.

According to the Times an organisation called Miss Dorothy[dot]com, which was backed by former prime minister, Tony Blair and his family among other public figures and celebrities, operated fraudulently and used money owed to the parents of a murdered teenager.

The organisation was founded by Sharon Doughty, a former BBC newsreader. It closed after a liquidator’s report was published in November 2012, showing that the organisation was £157,000 in debt.

Its founders then started a new associated charity, Dot Com Children’s Foundation. This charity is the subject of a compliance case over governance concerns.

Dot Com Children’s Foundation accounts show that the charity has reported several serious incidents during its existence.

One involved the appointment of a new chair and several new trustees. Two of the people who were in a probationary period as trustees were reported to be using the charity to further their own business and therefore creating an undeclared conflict of interest. 

The charity outlined debts of £170,000 in 2019 and its most recent accounts state that the debt had been reduced to £30,000. 

The Commission does not investigate allegations of criminality, for example, fraud.

“The Charity Commission has recently been alerted to potential concerns about the governance of the Dot Com Children’s Foundation. It has opened a regulatory compliance case to assess the information provided. It cannot comment further at this time,” its statement says.

Dot Com Children’s Foundation did not respond to a request for comment on the opening of the case.

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