Pensions Regulator  

Disability charity boss stole £250k from pensions

Disability charity boss stole £250k from pensions

The former head of a charity for the disabled has admitted defrauding the charity’s pension scheme out of more than £250,000.

Patrick McLarry today (November 11) pleaded guilty to transferring more than £250,000 from the pension scheme of Yateley Industries for the Disabled at Salisbury Crown Court.

According to The Pensions Regulator McLarry used the money to buy homes in France and Hampshire for himself and his wife, as well as paying off his debts.

The watchdog will now seek a confiscation order to force McLarry to hand back all of the money he took from the pension scheme.

Sentencing will take place on December 13.

The offences are said to have taken place between April 2011 and September 2013, when McLarry was both the chief executive and chairman of the charity and a director of the corporate trustee of the charity’s pension scheme, VerdePlanet.

The TPR’s investigation revealed that prior to VerdePlanet being appointed as the trustee of the scheme, the corporate trustee amended the scheme’s definitive deed which meant the scheme was unable to pursue McLarry for the funds which he went on to take.

Between March 2012 and February 2013 he arranged for £256,127 to be transferred from the charity pension scheme into bank accounts he controlled.

The TPR alleged he attempted to cover his fraud by forging documents, lying to TPR investigators about who owned the properties involved and then refused to hand over the evidence.

In court today, Judge Andrew Barnett said: “It is a serious matter and the only outcome is a substantial prison sentence.”

Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, said: “McLarry posed as a pillar of the community while he was secretly working to steal for himself the pension savings of dozens of disabled workers.

“He lied repeatedly to try to muddy the waters around him but our investigators cut through his attempts at deception to uncover the truth.

“This prosecution shows that we will do everything in our power to take action against those criminals who raid pension pots for their own gain. We will now work to recover the funds McLarry took.”

amy.austin@ft.com

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