Fake charity which raised £33k for Syria failed to fully account for money, watchdog rules

Michelle Russell, the Charity Commissions Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement.
Michelle Russell, the Charity Commissions Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement.

TRUSTEES of an organisation which falsely claimed to be a registered charity failed to account for significant sums of money donated to it, a watchdog has ruled.

The Charity Commission said Global Welfare Project, which claimed to be raising funds for humanitarian work in Syria, was not a registered charity, nor had an application been received to register it. Its inquiry began in response to concerns raised by West Yorkshire Police.

Global Welfare Project was found to be using the registration number of another registered charity when it solicited donations from the public.

More than £33,400 had been deposited with the West Yorkshire-based organisation, of which nearly £18,000 had been spent, but the trustees failed to prove the funds were used for their intended charitable purposes.

Michelle Russell, Director of Investigations, Monitoring and Enforcement at the Charity Commission said: “We found that they failed to monitor and fully account for the funds that were applied which is why we intervened to ensure the remaining funds are properly applied.”

The £15,500 remaining in the organisation’s accounts will now be donated to a legitimate charity doing aid work in Syria, the Charity Commission said.