Former bosses of Prestwich charity reprimanded over £ 500,000 loan
TWO Prestwich charity bosses were disqualified after nearly half a million pounds were loaned by the organization to one of their businesses.
A Charity Commission investigation found that the decision to hand over the Jewish Girls’ Seminary (JSG) sum was an “act of misconduct and / or mismanagement.”
Concerns were also raised about the payment of two rabbis employed by the association to give lectures. one of which was linked to a trustee and received £ 2,500 per month.
Amy Spiller, head of the Charity Commission investigative team, said: “It is clear that the former directors of this charity have not acted in the best interests of their charity or its beneficiaries. They were reckless with charity funds and could have cost the charity its future via misguided loan to someone they knew and payments to others without sufficient oversight.
“It is therefore fair that the responsible trustees were disqualified.
The Bury New Road-based JSG aims to promote the Jewish faith among Jewish girls and women ages 15 to 25, providing religious education and instruction to help students find job.
An investigation into the JSG was opened by the Charity Commission in 2015 after concerns were raised about the accounts it submitted, a report released this week revealed. At the time, the charity was already under investigation for late submission of its accounts from the previous two years.
Analysis of the documentation showed a loan deal between the JSG and a company run by former administrator Yonathan Kahn for £ 472,394. The assets of his business were valued at less than £ 6,000.
It was also found that the decision to grant the loan was authorized by a single trustee, Avrohom Mordechai Royde.
Once the loan was paid off, the JSG had only £ 816 available. The Charity Commission therefore characterized the payment as “not favorable to the charity”.
In addition, the decision-making for the loan agreement was not sufficiently documented, the commission added.
No repayments were made on the loan before the commission’s investigation opened – however, these are now made monthly, according to the commission’s report.
Now the commission has ordered the current directors of the JSG to take legal advice regarding the loan appeal and potential restitution.
Mr. Kahn and Mr. Royde have been disqualified as directors of charities for 12 years.
The JSG, which now has a new board, was not available for comment.