Investigation launches into charity that filed accounts three years late

The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into a religious charity that has submitted its accounts late every year since 2017.

This included one set of accounts being submitted more than 1,000 days late.

The action has been launched against Sunderland based Islamic Education Centre and Mosque, as part of the regulator’s double defaulters class inquiry to investigate charities that have failed to file their financial information for two or more consecutive years.

The charity’s annual return for the year ending March 2017 were eventually submitted 621 days late and eventually handed in on October 2019.

Meanwhile, its annual return and accounts 2018 through to 2020, were not submitted until December last year. This meant that it was 1,055 days late in filing its accounts for the year ending March 2018.

Its annual return and accounts for the year ending March 2021 are now also overdue, by four days.

The regulator says it had asked the charity to submit its outstanding accounts by July 2020 but “despite issuing frequent reminders this deadline.

The Commission is now reviewing these submissions, which it finally received on 21 December.

“The charity’s failure to submit the necessary accounting documents on time has been a repeated pattern of behaviour,” added the Commission.

“Prior to its submission last December, the charity had gone three years without filing the legally required financial information.

“This is of serious concern in relation to the trustees’ duty to be accountable and transparent to the public.”

The regulator’s investigation will look at the trustees’ administration, governance and management of the charity. It will also investigate where there has been any misconduct or mismanagement.

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