Regulator opens inquiry after charity funds were transferred to trustee’s account

26 Jan 2021 News

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into One Community Organisation to investigate why £200,000 was transferred from the charity to a trustee's personal account. 

In a statement the charity said it was because it did not have a bank card in its name and that it has sent receipts to the Commission demonstrating no wrongdoing. 

One Community Organisation delivers support to the deaf community and those with special needs by organising fundraising events to support online lectures and education programmes.

In April 2020 the Commission opened a compliance case after it identified inconsistencies with the information the trustees had reported to the Commission. This included conflicting information about whether or not the charity owned property.

When the Commission examined the charity’s finances it became concerned that the trustees may have understated the charity’s income and expenditure for 2017 and 2018.

Data for the financial year ending 31 December 2018 on the Commission's website states the charity had a total income of £19,500 and total expenditure of £9,872. The charity is 86 days late filing its 2019 accounts.

The regulator is also worried about potentially unauthorised trustee payments. Bank statements showed over £200,000 of charity funds were transferred via online payments to a trustee’s private bank account but it is unclear why this happened. 

On its website One Community Organisation said: “We would like to highlight a financial concern which has been raised with the Charity Commission. It has now been resolved and was about why many payments were made to a personal account in 2018. The reason being that because we did not have a business bank card and had to use a personal card to pay expenses. All bank statements and receipts has been produced and accepted by the Charity Commission and the charity remains and the issue is resolved. We understand their concerns and the investigation shows no wrong doing or illegal activity. One Community Organisation continues to provide it services.”

Civil Society News has confirmed with the Commission that the inquiry is ongoing. The regulator says it cannot comment further at the moment. 

The inquiry will examine the trustees’ management of the charity’s resources and financial affairs, compliance with their general legal duties and responsibilities, and whether any failings identified are a result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees. 

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