A trustee who used several aliases to conceal his identity has been banned from holding senior roles at charities for the maximum 15 years, the Charity Commission has said.
The regulator has concluded a class inquiry into seven charities associated with Opas Tamba Jimmy-Kay, who used various spellings of his name, different dates of birth and another name entirely in connection with those organisations.
The commission said six of the charities had been removed from the register for failing to carry out any charitable work, while he had resigned from the seventh, which was called KDDA UK.
The regulator found that KDDA UK was conducting charitable activity so it was removed from the inquiry.
The commission said Kai Manyeh, a trustee of one of the charities, called Hope Direct, had been disqualified for five years for his role in financial and governance failings.
The regulator said it had found “little to no evidence that funds had been applied for charitable purposes” at the six now-removed charities.
It also said “it was clear that false and misleading information had been submitted to the regulator (via accounts and annual returns) to give the impression that these charities were being well run”.
It said details including accounts being audited by an independent examiner and that the charities had an adequate number of trustees were not true.
The regulator said it met Jimmy-Kay and found he held two driving licences, one in his name and one as James Grantham.
It said addresses and dates of birth supplied for other listed trustees were also variations of Jimmy-Kay’s own details, leading it to conclude these people did not exist.
Amy Spiller, head of investigations at the Charity Commission, said: “Mr Jimmy-Kay misled the commission extensively about his identity and about the work of these charities.
“His behaviour was entirely at odds with what we expect from trustees and we’re glad, through proactive investigation, that we’ve uncovered his elaborate deceit.
“It’s right we have disqualified this individual for the longest time possible and removed his charities from the register. We hope this serves as a cautionary tale to others who might consider using charities for their own purposes.”
The removed charities were called:
- Social Action and Poverty Alleviation
- Action for Community Transformation
- British Africa Connexions
- Friends of African Organisations
- Hope Direct