Former charity head pleads guilty to count of defrauding disability charity pension scheme
12 November 2019
The former head of disability charity, Yateley Industries for the Disabled, has pleaded guilty to the count of fraud and confessed to taking more than £250,000 from the charity’s pension scheme.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) reported how Patrick McLarry, 71, transferred £256,127 out of the scheme into bank accounts between 2012-2013 to purchase homes in France and Hampshire for himself and his wife. He also used funds to pay off a historic personal debt. TPR will move to ensure that he returns all of the money he took so that it can be placed back into the scheme.
During the period that the fraud was committed, McLarry was the chief executive and chairman of the charity and also a director of VerdePlanet Limited, which is a corporate trustee of the pension scheme. Investigations by TPR discovered that the scheme’s definitive deed was altered meaning that McLarry could not be pursued for the funds that he eventually took. He attempted to hide his offence by falsifying documents, withholding evidence and by lying to investigators. He was convicted for failure to hand over statements at trial in 2017 and when they were finally provided, it became apparent that he had used scheme funds to purchase the property he owned in France.
The case took place at Salisbury Crown Court and Judge Andrew Barnett confirmed: “It is a serious matter and the only outcome is a substantial prison sentence.” Fraud by abuse of position carries a maximum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment. McLarry will be sentenced on December 13 2019.
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