Article 25 charity: ‘We could not have known bookkeeper was a fraudster'

Tony Gosling tony at
Sat Sep 17 23:24:46 BST 2016

Article 25: ‘We could not have known bookkeeper was a fraudster’
7 January, 2016 By Laura Mark
Architecture charity Article 25 has defended its 
procedures after it emerged its bookkeeper, who 
was imprisoned for stealing £260,000 from it, had 
previously been convicted of another charity fraud
Last month Scott William Golding was sentenced to 
four years and eight months in prison after 
pleading guilty of false accounting and using the 
charity’s money to pay for designer goods from 
stores including Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Prada and Harrods.
Following sentencing it was confirmed that 
Golding, who had left the charity with just £611 
in its account, had previously been convicted of 
stealing £9,500 from the Bristol children’s 
hospital charity, Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.
Golding joined Article 25 in 2013, having served 
a six-month prison sentence for his previous 
crime. He used his middle name, William, during 
the 18 months he worked for the charity.
The latest revelation has raised questions about 
how thorough Article 25’s vetting process had 
been prior to Golding’s appointment.
Article 25 trustee and former chair of trustees, 
Jack Pringle, defended the charity’s actions.
He said: ‘We of course immediately checked our 
hiring protocols and, in truth, we followed all 
the right procedures that any of us would in a well-run office.
’References were taken and they checked out. In 
addition, no alarms were triggered as he used a 
false name with a false passport which even the 
police checks, after the theft occurred, did not rumble.
‘Article 25 is now super-vigilant’
’Spent convictions, as he had, would not show up 
at the level of HR check allowed for such a post, 
even if we had had his right name. It’s only 
normal to carry out criminal record checks in 
connection with people who will directly work for 
schools, hospitals and such institutions – but 
even if we had carried out a criminal record 
check, it would not have picked him up, due to his name change.’
Pringle added: ‘Naturally Article 25 is now 
super-vigilant and will double-check the 
background of any new appointee. Once bitten, twice shy.’
To avoid other charities falling victim to 
fraudsters, fellow Article 25 trustee and ING 
Media founder Leanne Tritton suggested the 
Charity Commission ‘establish a database with 
photos of known and convicted fraudsters who operate in the charity sector’.
Sunand Prasad, current chair of trustees at Article 25
’Except for certain clearly defined posts, such 
as those that involving security or working with 
vulnerable people the level of allowable criminal 
record check will only reveal unspent 
convictions. The reason is obvious as it is 
against the law generally to refuse employment to 
someone for having a record if the conviction is 
spent. This helps to explains why such checks are 
not common. I have asked other architects and 
professionals and found so far no instance, 
except in the clearly defined instances mentioned 
above, of any criminal record check even for staff handling money matters.
’The level of check commensurate with the the 
post Golding had applied for would not have 
revealed anything, as he had served his sentence.
’The key point is that in conducting business we 
all rely on trust, even though it is sometimes, sadly, abused.’

Article 25 launches appeal after £200k goes missing from charity accounts
9 July, 2015 By Laura Mark
Humanitarian architecture charity Article 25 has 
launched an urgent rescue campaign after £200,000 
disappeared from the organisation’s accounts
On 29 June the charity’s managing director was 
informed of irregular account activity by its bank.
Article 25’s trustees went on to uncover what 
they said was a ‘systematic falsification of 
financial statements’, hiding multiple unapproved 
payments totalling more than £200,000.
Tower Hamlets police confirmed to the AJ that it 
was investigating an allegation of theft by an 
employee at the charity and that the investigation is ongoing.
The charity fears it could enter liquidation if 
it cannot find funds to cover the missing cash 
and has launched an urgent appeal in what its 
chairman, Sunand Prasad, called ‘a fight for survival’.
The charity has appointed an insolvency expert 
and launched a rescue campaign with the aim of 
raising £130,000 by the end of today (9 July).
So far £110,000 has been pledged to save the 
charit,y which has carried out work in Nepal, Haiti, Ghana, and Burkina Faso.
Prasad, said: ‘Article 25 is a charity that 
belongs to us all and we now need to fight for its survival.
‘Countless practices and individual in the UK 
have helped in some way over the past 10 years to 
make Article 25 the leading organisation of its 
type anywhere in the world. What has happened is 
a particularly bitter blow, as Article 25 is 
currently poised to work on some of the most important projects in its history.
‘The current circumstance will be of concern to 
every person who has helped us raise money, to 
our staff and volunteers who give their all in 
their shared endeavour to improve lives and to 
the thousands of people whose potential access to 
basic accommodation for health or education is now in jeopardy.’
The charity commission has been notified.
+44 (0)7786 952037
Twitter: @TonyGosling
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"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung

Fear not therefore: for there is nothing covered 
that shall not be revealed; and nothing hid that 
shall not be made known. What I tell you in 
darkness, that speak ye in the light and what ye 
hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:26-27

Die Pride and Envie; Flesh, take the poor's advice.
Covetousnesse be gon: Come, Truth and Love arise.
Patience take the Crown; throw Anger out of dores:
Cast out Hypocrisie and Lust, which follows whores:
Then England sit in rest; Thy sorrows will have end;
Thy Sons will live in peace, and each will be a friend.  
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