Charity CEO jailed and ordered to pay back money stolen from pension scheme

A charity chief executive officer (CEO) who stole more than £250,000 from his organisation’s pension pot has been jailed and ordered to repay the proceeds, it has been revealed.

According to reports, Patrick McLarry took funds from the pension scheme of Yateley Industries for the Disabled, a charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable adults, and used it to buy property and pay off personal debt.

The 71-year-old was both the chief executive and chairman of the charity and a director of VerdePlanet Limited, the corporate trustee of the charity’s pension scheme.

Court papers show that between March 2012 and February 2013, Mr McLarry arranged for £256,127 to be transferred from the charity pension scheme into bank accounts he controlled.

The money was then traced to the purchase of a home and a small warehouse in the south of France, a house in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, and to the repayment of a debt he owed over the purchase of a pub lease in Portsmouth.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR), who brought the prosecution, also claimed that the director forged documents and lied to the regulator about who owned the properties and refused to hand over evidence.

As well as receiving a five-year jail sentence, TPR used the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to secure a confiscation order against the former charity chief who was ordered to pay £286,852 to the Yateley Industries for the Disabled Pension Scheme to compensate members for the sums he stole, adjusted to account for inflation.

Commenting on the case, Erica Carroll, TPR’s Director of Enforcement, said: “McLarry abused his position to steal money from the scheme’s members, money which was supposed to help pay for their retirement. Instead, he spent the money on himself.

“He received a lengthy jail sentence for his crime and quite rightly he must now return the money he stole to the pension scheme for the benefit of its members. If he fails to hand over the cash, he will have to serve an extra three years in jail and still have to pay up.”

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