Charity scheme trustee prosecuted for £250,000 fraud

The head of a charity and trustee of its pension scheme has admitted defrauding the scheme out of more than £250,000.

Former Yateley Industries for the Disabled chief executive and chairman, Patrick McLarry, 71, pleaded guilty to fraud at Salisbury Crown Court today (11 November).

McLarry took the funds from the pension scheme of Yateley Industries for the Disabled and used it to buy homes in France and Hampshire for himself and his wife, as well as paying off a personal debt.

The prosecution was brought about by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), which will seek a confiscation order to force McLarry to give back all the funds he took from the scheme.

At the time of committing 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.

The investigation found that, prior to VerdePlanet being appointed as the trustee, the corporate trustee amended the scheme’s definitive deed which meant the scheme was unable to pursue McLarry for the funds he withdrew.

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

TPR said that he tried to cover his tracks by forging documents, lying to TPR investigators and refusing to hand over evidence.

TPR executive director of frontline regulation, Nicola Parish, commented: “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.”

Sentencing will take place at Salisbury Crown Court on 13 December.

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