Fundraising: Fraudulent fundraiser in line for prison sentence

A former charity fundraiser is likely to receive a prison sentence after admitting a £450,000 fraud charge in a case that sparked a crisis in the Scottish sector in 2003.

Anthony Freeman, 40, of Newlands, Glasgow, will be sentenced on 31 October at the High Court in Edinburgh. He admitted to falsifying records and siphoning money from Solutions RMC, his floundering fundraising company, to an offshore bank account before the company went into liquidation.

Defence counsel Peter Gray QC asked for Freeman's bail to be continued on the basis that he is anxious to make amends. But judge Lord Kinclaven said Freeman should be remanded in custody, according to a report in The Scotsman.

In May 2003, the Scottish Charities Office asked the courts to suspend Freeman from any role in the management or control of the charity Breast Cancer Research (Scotland). Solutions RMC was disqualified from involvement with the management or control of any UK charity.

The regulator found that only £1.5m out of £13m raised by Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) between 1996 and 2002 had gone to breast cancer research, and almost 60 per cent of the funds - £8m - had been paid in commission to Solutions RMC. The findings prompted a police investigation that led to Freeman's arrest.

The Giving Scotland campaign was launched to boost public confidence after negative press coverage caused by the case. In July, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, which has succeeded the Scottish Charities Office, passed £1.5m of the charity's assets to the University of Dundee's Breast Cancer Research Centre.

TIMELINE

1996: Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) founded, raising £13m in six years

2003, May: Accounts frozen after SCO investigation finds that Solutions RMC had pocketed £8m in fees

2003, December: OSCR replaces SCO and introduces new monitoring system

2004: Freeman arrested and charged with fraud

2006: Freeman pleads guilty to fraud.

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