Prince's Foundation chief executive quits as inquiry continues

16 Nov 2021 News

The chief executive of The Prince’s Foundation has resigned amid an ongoing investigation by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Michael Fawcett, a long-time aide to Prince Charles, announced in September that he was standing down temporarily while OSCR conducted its inquiry. The Prince’s Foundation has now confirmed that he has now left the role permanently.

A series of articles in The Sunday Times has claimed that donations to The Prince’s Foundation, by the Russian businessman Dmitry Leus and Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, were used to try and influence the heir to the throne.

Donations

The Times reported that Leus had tried to donate £200,000 to The Prince’s Foundation, after being put in touch with Fawcett.  

His gift was subsequently rejected by the charity’s ethics committee. Leus had been convicted of money laundering in Russia before the conviction was overturned.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “Michael Fawcett has resigned from his post as CEO of The Prince’s Foundation”.

Inquiry ongoing

The Prince’s Foundation said in September that an audit company would be brought in to investigate the matter independently.

An OSCR spokesperson said that its inquiries into the charity were ongoing.

Children and the Arts

The Charity Commission is also still looking into whether there has been any wrongdoing in relation to Children and the Arts, another charity backed by Prince Charles.

Further reports from The Sunday Times alleged that Prince Charles’s staff had offered to give some of Leus’s donation to Children and the Arts after that money was rejected by The Prince’s Foundation.

The donation is alleged to have been sent via a third charity, The Mahfouz Foundation, without Leus’s knowledge and obscuring the origins of the money.

A member of Prince Charles's staff subsequently changed a thank you letter from the charity to Leus, to hide references to the Mahfouz Foundation, the Times said.

Fawcett had previously written to Mahfouz to support an application for British citizenship.

Children and the Arts referred itself to the regulator after the media covered the story. The charity’s website has not worked since at least September.

The Charity Commission said that it was still working “to determine whether was a role for as a regulator” in this case.

There was no answer on the contact number provided for The Mahfouz Foundation.

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