Dove Trust founder appeals against regulator in the charity tribunal

Keith Colman had been directed by the Charity Commission not to part with certain property

Charity tribunal
Charity tribunal

The founder of the Dove Trust, which ran the suspended online giving platform CharityGiving, has appealed against a Charity Commission order directing him not to part with certain property.

The commission said in 2014 that Keith Colman, who was also a trustee of the charity, could be personally liable to repay a share of £1.7m that the Dove Trust owed to other charities after the Charity Commission installed an interim manager in 2013 and suspended donations to the website, having discovered mismanagement and misconduct.

The charity’s interim manager, Pesh Framjee of Crowe Clark Whitehill, found that there appeared to be a shortfall between the funds people had donated through CharityGiving, intended for other charities, and the cash held by the Dove Trust.

A High Court judge ruled in 2014 that the charities were likely to received only about a third of what they were owed.

The commission is seeking to recoup the missing funds and pass them on to charitable causes as the original donors intended. It ordered Colman not to part with some of his property.

Colman has this month filed an appeal with the charity tribunal against the order and is awaiting the commission’s response, according to the tribunal website.

A commission spokeswoman said: "This is an appeal against an order the commission made as part of our continuing inquiry into the Dove Trust.

"It is part of our efforts to secure further funds for the charity so that these can be distributed to the various good causes that used the charity’s CharityGiving website.

"Our order was made under section 76(3)(d) of the Charities Act 2011 and requires Mr Colman, a former trustee of the charity, not to part with certain property."

She said the commission had not yet filed a response.

Colman has previously launched tribunal appeals against the commission decision to restrict the trust’s bank accounts and to install an interim manager in 2014, but these were struck out and described as "fanciful" by Alison McKenna, the principal tribunal judge.

An update on the CharityGiving website in February this year said interim managers had neared completion of the first round of fund distribution, repaying 35.7 pence in every pound owed to a number of charities, and would be conducting a second and final round once asset recovery had been completed, but could not say when this would be.

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