Charity Commission highlights giving advice after £8,000 fraud

Alison Pople was given a suspended prison sentence this week for stealing money intended to go to major charities from bereaved relatives

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has highlighted its safer giving advice following a case in which a funeral director defrauded bereaved relatives of more than £8,000.

Alison Pople, 50, from Somerset, was sentenced at Taunton Crown Court on Wednesday to 15 months in prison, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty at a hearing at the same court last month to one count of fraud and three counts of making or supplying articles for use in fraud.

Pople, who worked for George Williams Funeral Directors in Cheddar, Somerset, took money intended for more than 60 charities, including the British Heart Foundation, Help for Heroes, Cancer Research UK and numerous local charities, Avon and Somerset Police said.

Police also found that Pople created fake thank you letters purporting to be from charities that people had thought they had donated to.

Cheques to the value of £4,866 were also found to have not been sent to the intended charities, police confirmed.

A confiscation order has been made by the court for £8,847.64, with the money to be paid to the various charities affected.

Following the Pople case, the Charity Commission highlighted its safer giving advice, including to check the commission’s online register before donating and to use online giving platforms where possible.

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