The former director of a Northern Ireland migrant charity has gone on trial charged with a total of 15 fraud and forgery charges relating to funding applications.
Eddie Kerr, former director of Solidarity, Equality, Education, Diversity and Support (Seeds), entered a not guilty plea to all the charges in January. His trial began at Londonderry Crown Court on Monday and could last up to six weeks.
Seeds was registered with Companies House in June 2006 and dissolved in March last year.
The charges, which date from February 2009 to March 2011, include four counts of forgery, four of using false instrument with intent and seven of fraud by false representation.
Eight of the charges relate to Kerr attempting to use various applications or forms he had signed in the name of Paul Murray, including applications for funding from the Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, Derry City Council and other local councils. He is also said to have twice submitted the same invoice to the council.
One charge alleges that he applied to the First Minister’s officer for £30,000 of salary for his position as director of Seeds, without declaring that he had already secured funding for employment as a project coordinator.
Another charge says he also failed to declare that application when applying for funding for his salary as manager of the One World Centre, a building in Derry used by several community and voluntary groups.