Former Sick Kids Friends Foundation fundraiser charged with fraud

Elaine McGonigle ran the charity's New Pyjamas campaign, which spent £500,000 but only raised £60,000

Sick Kids Friends Foundation
Sick Kids Friends Foundation

The former director of a loss-making fundraising campaign for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation has been arrested and charged with fraud.

Police in Scotland opened investigations earlier this year after the charity’s New Pyjamas fundraising campaign run by Elaine McGonigle raised £60,000 but spent £500,000.

The campaign aimed to raise £15m to buy equipment for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh.

McGonigle was dismissed and launched an employment tribunal case against the charity. But this was delayed after the charity allegedly discovered financial irregularities while preparing to defend the case.

A statement from Lothian and Borders Police: "A 47-year-old woman has been arrested and charged in connection with alleged fraudulent activity carried out while she was involved in fundraising activity for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh."

McGonigle is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on August 3.

A spokesman for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation said: "We have cooperated fully with the Lothian and Borders Police investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment at this moment."

The charity was cleared of misconduct by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator last year after it investigated allegations that it had spent far more than it raised on the campaign.

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