PensionsSep 7 2020

Pension fraudster ordered to pay back £290k

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Pension fraudster ordered to pay back £290k

A jailed former charity boss has been ordered to repay close to £290,000 in funds that he stole from the organisation’s pension scheme.

Appearing at Salisbury Crown Court last week (September 4), Patrick McLarry was ordered to pay £286,852, adjusted to account for inflation, to the Yateley Industries for the Disabled Pension Scheme, to compensate members for the sums he stole.

He was also ordered to pay £71,477 to cover The Pension Regulator’s legal costs.

Mr McLarry must pay the full amount in three months or he will face an additional three-year prison term and will still be required to pay the money back to the scheme.

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 back 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.

“TPR will not flinch from using every weapon in our arsenal to tackle pension fraudsters and will continue to protect savers’ retirements.”

The former charity boss was jailed for five years and banned from being a director for eight years in February.

At the time of the fraud, McLarry 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.

An investigation by the TPR found prior to VerdePlanet being appointed, the corporate trustee had amended the scheme’s definitive deed which meant the scheme was unable to pursue Mr McLarry for the funds that 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.

He then forged documents and misled TPR investigators in an attempt to cover his tracks, the court found.

He also failed to hand over vital information, such as bank statements, which TPR later prosecuted him for in April 2017.

According to TPR, he spent the cash on a home and a warehouse in the south of France, a house in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, and to repay a debt he owed over the purchase of a pub lease in Portsmouth.

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