Age Concern UK boss found guilty of pocketing £700k

Written by Lauren Weymouth

A former chief executive of Age UK Concern South Tyneside has been found guilty of stealing over £700,000 from the charity between 2007 and 2015.

John Briers is facing a "significant" time in jail after he pocketed thousands of pounds by paying 60 cheques into his own account, awarding himself 12 unauthorised bonuses and 19 additional pension top-ups, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Concerns about Briers' suspicious activities were raised by a finance officer at the charity in August 2015, who was concerned about an invoice from an alleged architecture firm.

The officer, Grahame Cassidy, said the document did not appear to be genuine and the VAT had not been correctly calculated.

Templates of blank invoices for a number of different firms were allegedly found when Briers' office was searched.

The court heard the money was taken from the two parts of the organisation: the charity, which he was chief executive of, and the trading company, which he was secretary of.

Briers, aged 57, denied three counts of fraud by abuse of position, but on Thursday 10 May, he was unanimously found guilty of three counts of fraud.

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