Former charity chief executive charged with £725k fraud

John Briers, 56, of Gateshead, will appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 20 June charged with defrauding Age UK South Tyneside, but has not yet entered a plea

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court

The former chief executive of Age UK South Tyneside has appeared in court charged with fraud against the charity worth almost £725,000.

John Briers, 56, from Gateshead, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last week charged with eight counts of fraud worth a total £724,076.24.

The alleged offences took place between January 2007 and August 2015.

Briers did not enter a plea and is due to appear at Newcastle Crown Court on 20 June.

Age UK South Tyneside suspended Briers in August 2015 and contacted the police as soon as the allegations came to light, a spokeswoman for Age UK said.

The charity later closed and transferred its services to Age Concern Tyneside South on 31 August 2016 to safeguard the services for the people of South Tyneside, according to a statement on the Age UK website.

The spokeswoman for Age UK said that Age Concern South Tyneside was set up with a new board of trustees. She added: "The majority of services and staff from the former Age UK South Tyneside have been transferred to the new charity and the priority is to ensure that the impact of any changes on local older people is minimised".

She said the charity could not comment further while the case continued.

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