Commission freezes grantmaker’s bank account after founding trustees sanctioned

21 Mar 2022 News

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into Genesis Philanthropy Group after three of its founding trustees were made subject to financial sanctions. 

The regulator has frozen the charity’s bank account, meaning no one can access or move funds held in its account without the Commission’s prior consent.

Last week, three of Genesis Philanthropy Group’s trustees were added to the list of those subject to financial sanctions by the UK government relating to Russia.

Genesis Philanthropy Group funds work around the education of the public in the arts, culture, and heritage of the Jewish people. 

Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan have all been involved with the charity since it was registered with the Commission 2018. They have recently ceased to be trustees of the charity. 

Earlier this month, the charity launched a $10m emergency assistance package for Ukrainian Jews. 

Its accounts for the year to June 2020 show that most of its come came from donations worth $1.1m from a company, LetterOne, controlled by Fridman. 

Fridman and Kahn are the co-founders of the investment business LetterOne and Alfa-Bank, the largest private bank in Russia. Until March Aven headed up Alfa-Bank. 

The Commission's inquiry will look at whether the charity can continue to operate and is viable, and whether the trustees have discharged their legal duties and responsibilities in their management and administration of the charity.

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