Interim manager appointed to Christian charity while regulator probes into 'serious concerns'

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to a Christian charity whilst it addresses a number of financial concerns.

Mountain of Fire and Ministries International, a London-based charity seeking to promote Christianity, is being investigated by the regulator after concerns were raised around late filing of financial information and a failure in the administration which resulted in significant losses to the charity.

The regulator said it is concerned over the trustees’ unwillingness to report serious incidents after it found two alleged incidents of fraud by former employees involving significant sums, both of which were not reported until a number of years after the frauds were discovered.

A small percentage of the stolen funds had been recovered, however, the watchdog said the charity still continues to suffer a significant loss.

Furthermore, it expressed ‘serious concerns’ over the charity’s chair of trustees and his personal handling of serious incidents, and the governance of the charity.

The inquiry found three trustees are being paid, which is a breach of the charity’s governing document and causes conflict when employment matters are discussed.

But despite the regulator’s continued engagement, it said the trustees are still not complying with their legal duties, including failing to submit accurate financial accounts on time.

An interim manager, whose remit includes reviewing the charity’s financial and governance processes, inspecting a number of the charity’s branches and their handling of serious incidents, has now been appointed.

The interim manager assumes these duties at the exclusion of the charity’s trustees; the trustees retain control over matters relating to religious activities.

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