Former Northern Ireland charity director found guilty of fraud and forgery

Eddie Kerr, formerly of Solidarity, Equality, Education, Diversity and Support, was convicted on 10 of 15 charges at Londonderry Crown Court

Londonderry Crown Court
Londonderry Crown Court

The former director of a Northern Ireland migrant charity has been found guilty of 10 charges of fraud and forgery relating to funding applications.

Eddie Kerr formerly worked for the Londonderry-based charity Solidarity, Equality, Education, Diversity and Support (Seeds), which was registered with Companies House in June 2006 and dissolved in March 2013.

He had entered a not guilty plea to 15 charges of fraud, forgery and using a false instrument in January 2014.

Kerr was last week found guilty at Londonderry Crown Court of 10 of the 15 charges; four of forgery, four of fraud by false representation and two of using a false instrument.

Five of the guilty charges relate to Kerr attempting to use various applications or forms he had signed under somebody else’s name, including applications for funding from the Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Derry City Council and other local authorities. Four involved fraudulently claiming a salary from the OFMDFM.

He was acquitted on three counts of fraud by false representation and two of using a false instrument.

One of the charges of which Kerr was acquitted alleged that he applied to the OFMDFM for £30,000 of salary for his position as director of Seeds without declaring that he had already secured funding for employment as a project coordinator.

No date has been set for sentencing. Kerr has been released on bail.

The trial had initially begun in June 2014. A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Courts And Tribunals Service was unable to confirm why this trial had been stopped, but he said it was subsequently rescheduled for December and then rescheduled for a second time to February, before eventually beginning in March.

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