Charity co-founder charged over ‘financial irregularities’

The co-founder of a cancer charity has been arrested and charged over ‘financial irregularities’ following a Police Scotland investigation.

Lindsay MacCallum, who co-founded Rainbow Valley, left the charity in August and was arrested on 30 October, a day before the charity was due to submit its annual finances to the regulator.

The former Project Development Manager founded Rainbow Valley with “long-time family friend”, Angela MacVicar, who lost her daughter Johanna to cancer in 2005.

When Ms MacCallum left the charity, Ms MacVicar said on social media that “she leaves with our love and gratitude.

Documents lodged with charity regulator OSCR show Rainbow Valley had two permanent members of staff for the period ending 31 January 2021. These included a Project Development Manager and an Office Manager.

In addition, the charity said it employed a fundraising consultant for one day per week.

The organisation also took advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme during the pandemic.

According to data held by the Scottish charity regulator OSCR, Rainbow Valley has spent around £600,000 in the past four years helping families in Glasgow affected by cancer. The accounts for 2021/22 were due on 31 October but have not yet been filed.

Police Scotland confirmed the arrest and charges in relation to financial irregularities involving a registered charity but refused to comment further.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Rainbow Valley said that they have been “fully supportive of Police Scotland with their investigation”. A report will now be submitted to the Prosecutor Fiscal.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “There are no details yet of what led to Ms MacCallum’s arrest and subsequent charges but given the nature of the charges, it is likely that forensic accountancy evidence will play a crucial role in painting the true picture of what has happened.

“Sadly charities, especially those with only a handful of staff, are all to often the victims of fraud.  Frequently they are reluctant to prosecute the perpetrators for fear that the associated publicity could damage their reputations and ability to fundraise effectively.

“Stealing money that has been donated to benefit others is a particularly heartless and heinous crime but surprisingly those convicted often recount how they initially intended to repay funds that they claimed they considered only to have borrowed.

“However, as the amounts that have been misappropriated spiral upwards, sometimes to feed drug, alcohol or gambling addictions, it becomes impossible to sustain any protestations of honest intent.”


Source(s): The Times

Posted in The Forensic Blog.