Trustees reprimanded for paying utility bills with charity cash

Trustees of a disability charity who used charitable funds to pay residential utility bills have been reprimanded by the Charity Commission.

In an inquiry report, the commission found that trustees of the Thomas Morley Trust, which is operated from a residential address, had derived "unauthorised benefit" by using the charity's funds to pay utility bills.

The commission opened an inquiry into the trust, which offers recreational activities for disabled people, amid concerns about the charity's relationship with several associated companies and conflict of interest issues.

"The inquiry established that the charity's founder and resident trustee (his wife) did not benefit from being directors of connected companies," the report says. "However, because the charity operates from the trustee's premises, there was unauthorised trustee benefit as a result of the charity paying for the general utility bills."

The charity has appointed additional trustees and has agreed to contact the commission for authorisation should they wish to pay the utility bills from charitable funds in future.

Third Sector Online was unable to contact anyone from the trust for comment.


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