Chair forced to repay unaccounted-for cash

A chair of trustees repaid £68,000 to his organisation after a five-year Charity Commission inquiry discovered misconduct and improper governance.

The regulator began investigating Bath Holiday Trust, which ran a charity shop in Bath, in 2002, when an anonymous person claimed its accounts had been falsified.

It discovered that a company of which the charity's two trustees were directors had submitted 23 invoices to the charity for a total of £102,000.

"There was little evidence to support that the work claimed to have been done had in fact been carried out," says the commission's inquiry report, which was published last week.

It adds: "Due to a lack of records it was impossible to construct viable accounts for the shop. This failure to maintain proper financial records amounted to misconduct on the part of the trustees."

The commission discovered that the charity, which provided holidays for handicapped people and their carers, had funded only nine holidays in an 18-month period at a total cost of £4,169.

Solicitor Michael King, a senior partner at solicitors Stone King, was appointed interim manager. He reached an agreement with the chair, whose name has not been disclosed, to pay the charity £68,000 to settle a restitution claim.

The trust's remaining £280,000 of funds were distributed between North Somerset Crossroads Caring for Carers, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Children's Hospice South West and Carers Gloucestershire.

The charity was struck off the commission's register.

John Plummer recommends

The Charity Commission report

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