Cup Trust appeals against Charity Commission decision to launch statutory inquiry

Mountstar PTC, the organisation's corporate trustee, has been directed by Judge Nicholas Warren to make the reasons for its appeal to the charity tribunal more clear

Charity Tribunal
Charity Tribunal

The corporate trustee of the tax-avoidance vehicle the Cup Trust has appealed to the charity tribunal against the Charity Commission's decision to launch a statutory inquiry and appoint an interim manager to run the charity.

Mountstar PTC, a company based in the British Virgin Islands, is the corporate trustee of the Cup Trust, which received £176.5m in private donations over two years, but spent just £55,000 on good causes in that time. Almost all its funds were spent buying bonds that were subsequently sold at a fraction of their normal value.

The commission said last week that it had opened an inquiry into the charity on 12 April after it had been given further information by HM Revenue & Customs.

Mountstar appealed against the commission’s decision on 1 May and applied for a review.

The tribunal issued a direction on the same day that says Mountstar PTC must supply more information to support its two cases, because they were "too vague and unspecified".

Mountstar has been given a month from 1 May to explain clearly why it disputes the commission’s decision, says the direction, issued by Judge Nicholas Warren, president of the first tier tribunal.

Mountstar must say why it thinks the commission’s decision is wrong and give details of any evidence it has to support this.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: "We were made aware on 26 April that the corporate trustee was intending to take steps to challenge the decisions the commission has made. The papers were lodged on 1 May for an appeal and review of the commission’s decisions in the tribunal."

She said the regulator had agreed to carry out an internal review of its decisions to open a statutory inquiry and appoint an interim manager, following a request from Mountstar, outside of the tribunal proceedings.

The commission has 28 days to respond to the appeal, starting once Mountstar has submitted its more detailed case.

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