Former Asda Foundation chair ordered to repay stolen £180,000

Paul Kelly, 55, was sentenced to three years in March for seven counts of fraud, and now has to repay the money or face an extra two years in jail

Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly

A former chair of the Asda Foundation has been ordered to repay the £180,000 he stole from the charity.

Paul Kelly, 55, of Southwark, south London, who was also Asda’s vice-president of corporate affairs, was jailed for three years in March for seven counts of fraud by false representation after pleading guilty at a hearing in January.

Kelly had diverted Asda Foundation funds earmarked for victims of the 2014 Somerset floods to Murley Dance, a dance company run by his partner David Murray, 36. Murray has not faced any criminal charges.

The fraud was discovered in August 2014, and Kelly, who had also served as a government adviser on food policy, alcohol and obesity and as an ambassador for Prince Charles’s Business in the Community charity, was suspended and eventually dismissed by Asda in September 2014 after an internal investigation.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Leeds Crown Court earlier this week, Kelly was ordered to repay within 28 days the £180,000 he took from the charity or face a further two years in jail.

Detective Inspector Jaz Khan, of the Leeds District Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: "This was a very serious breach of trust by Kelly against a charitable fund that was there to help those in genuine need.

"We hope it will reassure people to know that the confiscation order granted means the full amount taken will be paid back to the foundation.

"West Yorkshire Police has specialist financial investigators who work closely alongside our criminal investigations to take the cash out of crime. We will continue to make full use of the Proceeds of Crime Act to ensure that those who commit crime and benefit from it will not only lose their freedom but also their ill-gotten gains."

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