Two NGO accountants stand trial for £1.5m fraud

Two former employees of international development charity Practical Action are on trial in Kenya accused of one of the biggest frauds in the history of UK NGOs.

The accused, accountants Yobesh Amoro and David Musau Mbithi, worked in the east Africa office of the charity, formerly known as the Intermediate Technology Development Group.

The charity said that a forensic audit by PriceWaterhouseCoopers revealed it had been the victim of a "sophisticated fraud" estimated to have cost it £1.5m, between 2000 and 2003.

The fraud was reported to the Charity Commission, which decided that no inquiry was needed. The charity said all its programmes of work were still delivered.

A spokeswoman for Practical Action said: "Since the fraud, we have worked to strengthen financial management and supported the prosecution of the fraud in the courts in Kenya."

A judgement in the case is expected in September.


WorldPay has reported an increase in the number of charities noticing fraudulent activity on their accounts. The company said a common ruse used by conmen is to make small online donations to check if stolen credit cards are still active.

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