Charity regulator opens investigations into two charities over trustee concerns
The Charity Commission has opened new statutory inquiries into two London-based charities.
The Charity Commission has opened two separate statutory inquiries into The Jalloh Charitable Trust and The Deacons Charitable Trust, both London-based charities that aim to further general charitable purposes through grant-giving.
During the initial stages of the investigation into The Jalloh Charitable Trust, launched in May, the Charity Commission found that the charity’s trustees were also the trustees of The Deacons Charitable Trust. This prompted the commission to launch an inquiry into The Deacons Charitable Trust on 14 June 2019.
“The two trustees are potentially related via marriage, highlighting apparent unmanageable conflicts of interest and calling into question whether key decisions have been made in the best interests of the charities or for the private benefit of the trustees,” the Charity Commission said in a statement.
Moreover, it found that the independent examination of accounts has been compromised and inconsistently applied.
“The Charity Commission has serious concerns about the administration of The Jalloh Charitable Trust, which was previously included in a class inquiry due to its failure to submit annual accounting information,” the commission disclosed.
It revealed that on examining the charity’s accounts concerning transactions were noted, including the charity making loans of over £500,000 to a trustee and purchasing “a valuable collection of Judaica and other antique silver” from a trustee.
A review of the accounts and bank statements of The Deacons Charitable Trust revealed a number of similar regulatory concerns, including loans to a trustee of over £150,000 and multiple payments totalling over £17,000.
As a result of its concerns, the regulator has taken protective action to freeze the charities’ bank accounts.
The commission intends to publish separate reports of its inquiries upon conclusion, detailing what issues the inquiries looked at, what actions were undertaken, and what the outcomes were.