The ex-chief of a disability charity has been prosecuted for defrauding his charity's pension scheme of more than £250,000.
Patrick McLarry, who headed up Yateley Industries for the Disabled in Hampshire, pleaded guilty to an offence which holds a maximum prison sentence of 10 years at Salisbury Crown Court on 11 November.
The prosecution was brought about by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), which is seeking a confiscation order to force McLarry to give back all of the funds he took from the scheme.
The offences took place between April 2011 and September 2013, at which point Patrick McLarry was both chief executive and chairman of the charity. He was also director of the corporate trustee of the charity’s pension scheme.
During March 2012 and February 2013, McLarry transferred £256,127 from the charity scheme into bank accounts under his control.
According to TPR, he attempted to cover his tracks by forging a number of documents, lying to investigators and then refusing to hand over any evidence.
It is the second criminal conviction brought on Patrick McLarry by TPR, after he was ordered to pay £6,500 for refusing to give information linked to an investigation into unusual scheme investments.
Commenting on the case, TPR executive director of frontline regulation, Nicola Parish said: “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 is due to take place at Salisbury Crown Court on 13 December.