Man charged with taking more than £500,000 of Help for Heroes donations

Christopher Copeland faces 15 counts of fraud by false representation and one offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act

A 51-year-old man has been charged with fraud after allegedly pocketing more than £500,000 in cash collected for Help for Heroes.

Christopher Copeland, from Devon, was yesterday charged with 15 counts of fraud by false representation and one offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

He is accused of depositing £518,397 in a business account between April 2009 and September 2011. He has been bailed to appear at Exeter Magistrates’ Court on 8 May.

A spokeswoman for the charity said it was aware of the offences Copeland is alleged to have committed. She said he did not work for Help for Heroes, but declined to give further details about his connection to the charity.

"We have been working closely with the police and we take a firm stance whenever it appears that funds have been diverted dishonestly from the men and women whose lives we are helping to rebuild," a statement from the charity said.

"We take action to recover any misappropriated funds and to ensure that those accused of dishonesty are held to account. Our anti-fraud processes are robust and we are members of the Charity Commission’s voluntary sector fraud programme."

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