A commission inquiry into Young Minds and Mentors, based in Shrewsbury, found that the pair invented a third person to act as a board member in order to meet the minimum requirement for the number of trustees.
“The trustees admitted to a commission officer that they provided false information at the time of registration by creating a fictitious third trustee,” the report says.
The invented board member was under a name used as an alias by one of the trustees, the commission found.
The regulator has passed the trustees’ details on to police after they lied to officials before and during the course of the inquiry – a criminal offence under the Charity Act 1993.
A check of the police’s national database revealed that one of the board members was already disqualified from standing as a trustee. Anyone with an unspent conviction for an offence involving deception or dishonesty is barred from acting as a charity trustee, rules dictate.
The Charity Commission has given the charity special dispensation to operate with only two board members and has appointed a new pair.
It also urged all other charities to ensure they carry out all the necessary checks in vetting potential board members. “In extreme cases, the charity’s good name, the welfare of its users or even its existence could be at risk,” it said.
Third Sector Online was unable to reach the charity for comment.