UPDATE: Pension fraud case adjourned to 31 January

Proceedings against the head of a charity and trustee of its pension scheme have been adjourned until 31 January, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has confirmed.

The case against former Yateley Industries for the Disabled chief executive and chairman, Patrick McLarry, 71, was originally scheduled to take place on 13 December, but instead was adjourned at Salisbury Crown Court, for ‘legal reasons’.

Despite initially pleading not guilty to the charges, McLarry admitted to defrauding the scheme and subsequently changed his plea to guilty in November. However, today, (17 January) Winchester Crown Court, Judge Andrew Barnett dismissed an application from McLarry to change his plea to not guilty and warned him he faces a substantial custodial sentence for what is “a very serious matter”. McLarry was then remanded in custody.

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 TPR, which was seeking 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.

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