ShelterBox founder Tom Henderson charged with fraud

Henderson, who was removed as chief executive of the disaster relief charity in 2012, was arrested in 2013 with his son John and another man on suspicion of fraud and money-laundering offences

Tom Henderson
Tom Henderson

Tom Henderson, the founder and former chief executive of the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox, has been charged with three counts of fraud by abuse of position.

Henderson, 63, was charged yesterday at Bishopsgate Police Station in London with one count of fraud by abuse of position in which he is alleged to have conspired with his son, John Henderson, and another count in which he is alleged to have conspired with both his son, aged 32, and 41-year-old Darren Gervis from Beaminster, Dorset.

He was also charged with a third count of fraud involving the alleged misuse of a credit card, and with the attempted theft of property.

Henderson, from Helston in Cornwall, was arrested alongside John and Gervis on suspicion of fraud and money-laundering offences at ShelterBox in June 2013.

He was dismissed from the charity he founded almost a year earlier, in July 2012, because of an allegation that he tried to place an order worth £650,000 with a company connected to John.

Sir John Banham, a trustee of the charity, resigned because of the dismissal, saying at the time that he had not agreed to it. Henderson began proceedings to take ShelterBox to an employment tribunal in 2012, but these are understood to have been suspended indefinitely as the criminal case against him developed.

Henderson’s son John, from Hayle in Cornwall, has also been charged with theft of property, possession of a shotgun without a firearms certificate and possession of a section-one firearm – a section-one firearm must be required for a specific purpose and its ownership must be agreed to by the police. 

A spokesman for ShelterBox said in a statement: "ShelterBox has been made aware of the charges brought against its former CEO and his son. We have assisted the police with their enquiries throughout, so cannot comment on detail as this could be considered prejudicial.

"Mr Henderson was dismissed from the charity in July 2012 and has had no association with ShelterBox since then."

In April last year, Henderson set up a new disaster relief charity, Shelter for Humanity, but he stepped down as a trustee when he was arrested several months later. The charity, which is registered with the Charity Commission as the Jane Henderson Foundation – named in memory of Henderson’s wife, who died in 2012 – changed its name in February to Byond, claiming it did so to avoid confusion with other charities.

The three men are due to appear at the City of London Magistrates' Court on 4 September.

Susannah Birkwood

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