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Trustee stole £240,000 from Aylesbury charity

GTC, a poverty relief charity, has now been removed from the list of registered charities.

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 2:33pm 2nd June 2020. (Updated at 4:08pm 2nd June 2020) 3-minute read.

Trustee stole £240,000 from Aylesbury charity

The Buckinghamshire charity has been removed from the registered list. 

The sole trustee of GTC, a Buckinghamshire based charity, Mr Ahtiq Raja has be disqualified from charity trusteeship after stealing around £240,000. 

The charity's purpose was to relieve poverty across the UK, however its focus was on the Aylesbury area. 

The Charity Commission's investigation into GTC began in December 2018 over concerns about the charity's governance and financial management and today the charity regulator has reported its findings. 

Bank records were obtained and these showed that around £240,000 was transferred from the charity's bank account to the private account of Mr Raja, the trustee. The majority of this money has been mistakenly paid into the charity by a third party.

The fund was then used to buy a property held in the name of a private company of which the trustee was the sole director and shareholder. These funds have now been repaid to the third party.

Along with findings of poor governance, criticism of there only being one trustee and a lack of clarity in annual accounts the inquiry has concluded these failings amounted to misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of the charity. 

Mr Ahtiq Raja was found guilty of theft at Northampton Crown Court and was later sentenced to a 24-month community order. As a result of his conviction he is disqualified from acting as a trustee or from holding a senior role in any charity in England and Wales. 

The charity is not longer in operation and was removed from the register of Charities on 9th April 2020.

Amy Spiller, Head of Investigation Teams at the Charity Commission said:

“Charity represents the best of human characteristics – that’s why the behaviour of charities matter. This charity was set up to improve the lives of people suffering financial hardship, but sadly this individual betrayed those good intentions.

“Our investigation uncovered appalling behaviour by someone who was in a position of trust, and it is right that they have been held to account for their actions. This case also exposed what can go wrong when there is a lack of oversight and poor governance within a charity.”

The full report is available on the Gov website.

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