A charity that raises awareness of prostate and testicular cancer has been removed from the register of charities after it emerged that one of its trustees had a fraud conviction.
A report published today by the Charity Commission about its investigation of GYSO, formerly known as Get Your Sock Out, says the charity was registered in June 2014 after a successful awareness-raising campaign on social media.
The report says the regulator was later alerted to a media report about the conviction of one of its trustees, which under charity law would bar them from being a trustee because of an unspent conviction involving dishonesty.
The commission’s case report says it contacted the trustee, who is not named by the regulator, to explain the law and ask for more information about their conviction. It also tried to arrange a meeting with the charity’s trustees, but received no response.
The report says the commission then wrote to each trustee individually to inform them that the trustee was disqualified, as well as giving them regulatory advice about their role and duties.
The report says two letters were returned to sender and the third trustee did not respond.
After obtaining the charities’ bank statements and full donation histories from its online donation platforms, the commission found the organisation’s original Facebook page was regularly updated and members of the public could still donate money.
The charity had failed to register the requisite legal documents with Companies House, and was subsequently removed from the latter’s register.
After this, in December last year,the commission removed GYSO from the register of charities and notified the online donation platforms to ensure the charity’s donation pages were closed.
The commission’s report says the charity’s bank accounts had very limited funds and trying to recover the money "would not have been proportionate".
No accounts for the charity are available on the Charity Commission’s website.