Educational charity goes to tribunal to appeal freezing of its bank accounts

The Charity Commission opened an inquiry into Jole Rider Friends because of concerns about possible unauthorised payments and persistently late accounts

Charity tribunal
Charity tribunal

Trustees of an education charity that is the subject of a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission have appealed to the charity tribunal against an order by the regulator to freeze its bank accounts.

The regulator said in October it had opened an inquiry into Jole Rider Friends, which provides facilities and equipment at educational establishments in Africa, because of concerns about potentially unauthorised payments and persistently late accounts.

The charity tribunal hearing, which is due to take place on 4 January in London, will consider the charity’s appeal against an order by the regulator to freeze its bank accounts.

The charity’s accounts for the year to 29 March 2016, which were due to be filed with the regulator by the end of January, are overdue, according to the charity’s entry on the commission’s online register.

Its most recently available accounts, for 2014/15, record an income of £204,461 and expenditure of £189,004.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: "The commission is aware of the appeal against our temporary protective orders issued to Jole Rider Friends. We are defending our orders in the tribunal and will await the tribunal’s decision after the hearing on 4 January."

A statement from the trustees of the charity at the time the inquiry was announced said that although the reported infringements were very damning the trustees had no concerns about the eventual findings of the inquiry.

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