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Fraud by Head of Finance forces charity to close

Friday 13th February, 2015

A Welsh homeless charity, Cyrenians Cymru has been forced to close following the arrest of a second member of its finance team on suspicion of fraud.

The previous Head of Finance at the charity, Mark Davies, was arrested in December after what was described as a case of  "extensive fraud" at the organisation. Suspected criminal losses totalling £800,000 were uncovered by the charity's senior management.

The charity, which employed 75 people and had been running for over 42 years, served disadvantaged people across the region, but has been unable to survive the loss of funds. However, it's hoped that funds will be released to help it continue offering some front-line services.

Conrad Watkins, the charity’s chief executive, said two routes were available for the recovery of the losses - the return of stolen assets, or their monetary value, which would depend on a court order at the time of the trial; and an action for damages against external parties for professional negligence. The charity has appointed a lawyer to represent it in the case.

"We are devastated by the incalculable damage this has done," Watkins said.

South Wales Police confirmed that a 40-year-old woman from Swansea was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation by the force’s economic crime unit.


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