Regulator appoints interim manager to educational charity

The Charity Commission is concerned that most of Grove Mountain's income has been withdrawn in cash

Grove Mountain's entry on the Charity Commission register
Grove Mountain's entry on the Charity Commission register

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to an educational charity after investigating concerns that most of its income was being withdrawn in cash.

The regulator last year opened a statutory inquiry into Grove Mountain, which was registered in 2015 with objects of providing books for schools in the Caribbean.

The commission said at the time that an examination of the charity’s 2015/16 accounts, which recorded an income of £88,360 and spending of £88,122, showed the majority of its income was withdrawn in cash and "there was a pattern of large cash withdrawals being made shortly after donations or identical amounts had been deposited".

The charity’s accounts for the year to April 2016, published on the commission’s website, consist mainly of what appears to be a bank statement listing transactions relating to the charity from May 2016.

These include a number of cash withdrawals of up to £6,000 each and "travel/meeting expense" for sums spent at retailers including Sports Direct and TK Maxx.

The commission said today it was concerned that two of the charity’s trustees, whom the regulator does not name, were responsible for "misconduct and/or mismanagement and exposed the charity’s property to undue risk".

They had also failed to comply with directions issued during the course of the inquiry, the regulator said.

There are three trustees listed on the charity’s entry on the Charity Commission website: Aaron Hanson, Chimezie Emenike and Nazli Ramadan.

The commission said it had appointed Adam Stephens of Smith & Williamson LLP as interim manager of the charity to the exclusion of its trustees.

"His duties include taking any steps necessary to secure the property of the charity and considering the future viability of the charity," the commission said.

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