The charities regulator has opened a major new investigation into seven linked charities over the alleged mismanagement of financial accounts.
The Charity Commission announced the class statutory inquiry into the seven charities, linked by two common trustees and common registered contact details, earlier this month.
The report, published online, details the charities involved.
The regulator says it identified a “series of discrepancies” across the charities’ accounts, leading it to open an investigation against the organisations on 29 April 2019.
Using its powers to order the charities to hand over their bank statements, the regulator found discrepancies of more than £83,000 income and £39,000 expenditure between information submitted in their annual returns and what was actually detailed in the charities’ bank records.
Commenting on the investigation, the Charity Commission said the highlighted issues indicate a “potential misapplication of charitable funds and possible personal benefit”.
Further to these findings, the regulator also suspects that the trustees “knowingly acted against their legal duty by providing false and misleading information” in their charity annual returns.
In response, the charities’ bank accounts have now been frozen to protect charitable funds.
The investigation continues.