The Charity Commission has said it intends to apply for the £84,000 that is left in the Dove Trust's accounts, five years after the interim manager began distributing funds to charities that were owed money.
A public notice explains proposals and has a witness statement from the Commission to support an application to the High Court.
The Commission is seeking an order from the court allowing release of the final balance of funds, as its investigation into the charity fundraiser has cost the regulator more than £650,000 over six years. The regulator’s annual budget is £25m.
The Dove Trust ran the now defunct online fundraising website Charitygiving and has had an interim manager for the past six years.
The Commission said the funds would be used to help cover the costs of the investigation and the interim manager. This would be used as part of the Commission’s operational budget.
Pesh Framjee, partner and global head of non profits at Crowe UK, is the interim manager appointed by the Commission, and has been paid by the regulator during his six years in charge. Interim managers are usually paid out of the charity’s funds, rather than by the regulator, but in this case it was deemed that as much money as possible should be returned to charities.
The application recognises that this is unusual, but adds that it considers the fees to be reasonable and good value for money.
Since December 2014 there have been three rounds of distribution made to charities that were owed money. But a number of those that were due funds are not active any more and in some cases cheques were not cashed.
In 2013, the charity had £709,529 and debts of around £1.7m. Originally it was thought that charities would get 33p for every pound they were owed, but this increased to 68p as the process went on partly because some charities could not be traced and cheques were not cashed and because the interim manager was able to recover additional money.
Anyone affected is invited to get in touch within 28 days and copies of the representations will be attached when it makes its application to the court. Those wishing to make representations should contact he Commission’s Litigation team at [email protected] or by post to Litigation and Review, Charity Commission, PO Box 211, Bootle, L20 7YS.