Religious charity’s company wound up amid allegations church members were 'financially exploited'

Salvation Proclaimer Ministries Limited, known as SPAC Nation, has been wound up “in the public interest” in the High Court amid concerns that the incorporated charity’s former church members “had been financially exploited by senior church personnel”, according to the Insolvency Service.

Further concerns had been raised over a failure of SPAC Nation to provide information around £1.87m of outgoings.

SPAC Nation, a charity that supports vulnerable people, including young people and offenders in London, had been incorporated in 2012. It also operates in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to latest Charity Register details for the charity.

But within seven years it was blighted by allegations that church members had been encouraged to give money to the charity “by taking on personal debt”, according to the Charity Commission, which is investigating the charity.

The church group’s leaders had told Insolvency Service investigators that it had more than 2,000 members and 200 ordained ministers and pastors “but failed to provide any supporting information”.

In a statement the Insolvency Service said that the company has been would up after it was found to operate “with a lack of transparency, filed suspicious or incorrect accounts, and was insolvent at the time of the hearing”.

“While SPAC Nation claimed it had noble intentions to support vulnerable and young people, our enquiries uncovered a different side of the charity,” added Edna Okhiria, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service.

“There were clear concerns around how the church group managed its affairs and SPAC Nation failed to properly account for income received from donations and other expenditure.

“The court recognised the severity of SPAC Nation’s actions and this sends a strong message that proper records and accounts must be maintained, even if you’re a charity.”

SPAC Nation remains subject to a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission, which opened in 2019. This is looking into the charity’s safeguarding, finances and management of risk.

In launching its investigation three years ago, the regulator said: “Charities exist to improve lives and strengthen society; the issues that have been raised related to SPAC Nation in recent weeks are highly concerning, even more so as the allegations are entirely at odds with the expectations about the way that charities will operate.”

A statement from Salvation Proclaimers Ministries said that the company that has been wound up “is different to the charity arm under which the church and many of our churches and gatherings operate”.

The charity added that it is “working with our lawyers to explore all our options to set the records straight, as we do no agree that the grounds for the judgement has fairly and accurately represented our efforts in co-operation with the inquiry, especially as we submitted all the information that we had and was asked for”.

It added that the police had previously reviewed allegations made against the organisation and “no investigations were required”.

In addition, the organisation said that it had “previously proposed to voluntary shut down the company in question, and the associated charity”.

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