The Charity Commission has seven ongoing regulatory compliance cases into charities opened as far back as 2009.
These include two charities – the health charity Nita Kinesiology and the Jewish charity the SF Foundation – with multi-million pound annual incomes, and one case in which the police have made an arrest in relation to fraud allegations.
The commission stopped using the regulatory compliance case format in 2011.
A spokeswoman for the commission said regulatory compliance cases were at the more serious end of its compliance work and that some might have been statutory inquiries had they been opened today.
The commission now opens operational compliance cases into charities about which it has serious concerns. It continues to open statutory inquiries – reserved for the most serious cases – when it uses its powers under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.
The regulator concluded 1,972 operational compliance cases in 2013/14.
As reported by Third Sector last month, Nita Kinesiology did not spend a penny of last year’s £10m outgoings on charitable activities and went into voluntary liquidation in May. The charity has been subject to the compliance case since November 2011.
The commission’s case on the SF Foundation dates back to April 2011, with the commission looking into the financial management of the charity. The foundation had an income of £5.8m in the year to 31 January 2013.
The commission opened its case into Midlands Regen Limited in May 2010. The charity had an income of £425,000 and spending of £648,742 in the year to 31 March 2013, but no money coming in or out at all in the three years before this. The charity existed to support the development of the Nechells Baths site in Birmingham, but, according to its accounts, it has completed that work.
The commission wants "to address regulatory concerns including possible misuse of charity funds, lack of financial controls and unmanaged conflicts of interest", the spokeswoman said. The charity has also been involved in civil proceedings in order to recover missing funds, she said.
A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police said: "Our economic crime unit is investigating an allegation of fraud. Four people have been voluntarily interviewed, and a 76 year-old man arrested in March 2013 remains on bail until September this year."
The oldest case was opened on 18 December 2009 on the Cornish education charity the Bolitho School Foundation. The charity went into administration five days after the case was opened but is still listed as active on the commission’s website. The commission is looking into a potential failure of governance.
The poverty charities Angels of Hope and Ray of Good Hope, the second of which was removed from the register in March 2014, became the subject of compliance cases in July 2010. The cases involve the accuracy of accounts and grant applications.
"The regulatory compliance cases into Angels of Hope and Ray of Good Hope are being conducted separately, although there are similar regulatory concerns across the two charities," a commission spokeswoman said. "While the cases are live, we cannot comment further on the details."
The final case, opened in October 2011 on the African children’s charity Save a Million Lives, is looking into the trustees’ "decisions to enter tenancy agreements and occupy those properties to further their charitable purposes, and whether any private benefit is incidental to that". The charity had an income of £4,954 in the year to 30 April 2013.
The regulator’s interventions were revealed by a freedom of information request made by a member of the public on WhatDoTheyKnow.com.