News
Gardai expand investigation into fraud at Irish charity Bothar
12 Apr 2021

Gardai investigating the alleged misappropriation of funds from the charity Bothar by its former chief executive are examining claims that other people might have been involved in fraud.

Bothar secured a High Court order last week freezing the assets of David Moloney, its former boss, who quit in February after the charity claimed he had misappropriated at least €460,000.

Moloney of Newport, Co Tipperary, denies all wrongdoing. The location of the missing funds is the focus of an investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau, which is probing whether others defrauded the charity by submitting false expenses and bogus invoices.

The bureau is expected to seek assistance from British police in the coming months as some of the missing monies were transferred to UK accounts.

The full scale of the alleged fraud has yet to be determined, according to sources with knowledge of the case. The loss of the money could result in the disbandment of the charity, which provides finance and farm animals to impoverished communities in the developing world.

The board of the charity is co-operating with the garda bureau, which is the national body that pursues criminal investigations into serious financial crime.

An initial examination of the charity’s financial records suggests that controls were almost non-existent and vulnerable to abuse.

Bothar, which has stopped accepting donations from the public, claimed in court that Moloney misappropriated large amounts of funds by recording them as donations made to charitable projects in Africa.

An examination of the charity’s finances has found that €192,000 paid to a mission run by the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Sisters in Tanzania is missing. The mission told Bothar that it had never received any money from Moloney or Bothar.

The charity is also examining three payments totalling €127,000 made to Agricultural Innovation Consultants, a now defunct British company, for services it provided in Rwanda. The payments were not recorded in the company’s accounts and that money also appears to have vanished.

By John Mooney, The Times, 11 April 2021

Read more at The Times

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