A Southampton-based gang has been found guilty of collecting and keeping money with tins covered with the Marie Curie Cancer Care logo.
The Southern Daily Echo reports that the scam went for as least three years across pubs in the area.
Four people were found guilty by jurors at Southampton Crown Court, while one admitted charges before the trial.
Prosecutor Nicholas Tucker said the fraud began after Gordon Coe, the ringleader of the gang, had been accepted as a volunteer for the charity and received tins, a paying-in book, t-shirts, an ID badge and a receipt book on the understanding he would collect in the Southampton area.
Tucker said police found forged tin labels, letters and ID badges at the homes of gang members Ben and Kim Chapman and Pauline Hunt. They also found bags of coins from the Chapmans’ home and the address of Susan Christians, the last gang member.
The five gang members are now awaiting sentencing for their roles in the scam.
A spokesman for Marie Curie Cancer Care said: “We would like to reassure people this type of incident is very rare and we shouldn’t let one bad apple give legitimate charity collectors a bad name.
"The vast majority of collectors are trustworthy and dedicated and, as a charity, we couldn’t raise the vital funds without them.”