The High Court has approved the first petition it received from the Charity Commission to wind up a charity, Thrift Urban Housing Limited.
The Commission has been conducting a statutory inquiry into the charity since August 2014, but only announced it was doing so in February this year.
After uncovering “serious concerns”, the Commission petitioned the High Court for an order to wind up the charity in February, the first time it has ever taken such an action since being granted the power to do so under the Charities Act 2011.
The High Court approved the Commission’s application last Friday and now an official receiver will be appointed and will be responsible for applying any remaining assets as part of the winding up of the charity.
Judge Jones said in his ruling: “I would have viewed this petition from a different angle had completely new trustee/directors been appointed […]
“This has not happened, but that approach adds to the reasons I rely upon when deciding it is just and equitable to wind up the charity […]
“The history of the charity and the defaults identified mean there can be no confidence in those duties being fulfilled in the future. In particular when Mr Lennox intends to continue his involvement.”
Amy Spiller, head of investigations team at the Commission, said: “Organisations that enjoy the privilege of charitable status should be run with probity and respect.
“Serious concerns led to the Commission taking this significant action for the first time.
“Our inquiry has exposed a catalogue of failings in the running of this charity and so it is important that it will now be wound up and removed from the register of charities. We are clear that abuse of power for personal gain has no place in charity.”
The Commission’s inquiry continues and it intends to publish a report, setting out its findings and conclusions in due course.