This is a sad story from Wales Online, of a great organisation, a Citizens Advice Bureau that helps its local community, that was a victim of fraud to the tune of £575k by a couple of its employees.
The fraud was a mixture of, overpayment of salary combinded with false invoices for services that were not delivered.
While its good to see that £163k is to be recovered from the sale of their assets, it seems that part of the problem that the CAB "became “awash with cash” after the couple won a contract from the Legal Services Commission to run a Wales-wide call centre. Between 2002 and 2006 it brought in £1.2m, not including grants from the National Assembly plus the county and community council.
It must be truly galling for volunteers of that organisation, who dedicate thier time voluntarily to help their community with problems, including debt problems, to know colleagues were living the highlife.
In addition for the public funds to be abused, I am sure those services were not replaced.
He said they “squandered public money on champagne, expensive meals and holidays” adding their behaviour was brazen and startling.”
Read More http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/04/12/fraud-pair-to-pay-cab-163-000-91466-28501438/2/#ixzz1Y7Sevi1X
As the Big Society, we want more charities and voluntary organisations to run projects and services with public funds on our behalf, this case begs the question, how these organisations ensure these funds are not used fraudulently?