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Bogus charity collector sentenced following BTP investigation

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A charity trustee who fraudulently collected money at London Underground stations has been sentenced following a complex investigation. 

Obisesan Ilesanmi, aged 58 and of Markham Street (SE17), appeared at the Old Bailey on 31 August where he sentenced. He was handed five months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work. 
Over the course of a number of years, Ilesanmi’s charity, Christian Caring Ministries Trust, attended London Underground stations where they would operate charity box collections. Following a check by Transport for London’s charity coordinator in 2016, concerns were raised that donated money was not being correctly declared. 
Meanwhile, officers from British Transport Police had also observed on multiple occasions that representatives of the charity had not adhered to strict rules when fundraising at stations. A full investigation into the operations of Christian Caring Ministries Trust was commissioned and in October 2016 the head office was searched. 

During the search, some £5,850 of cash found in a bag under a table was seized by BTP officers and Ilesanmi was arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position. 

Throughout the course of the investigation, it became clear that the defendant had fraudulently claimed donated money and falsified records which were submitted to the Charities Commission. 

At court, Ilesanmi admitted five charges of submitting False and Misleading Information to the Charity Commission, contrary to section 60 of the Charities Act 2011. 

Inspector Dan Tanner from BTP, said: “I very much welcome this sentence. Over a sustained period of time, Ilesanmi arranged for public collections on the rail network then grossly understated the true values collected when he compiled the Charity Annual Reports which he then fraudulently submitted to the Charity Commission.

“We work hard to stamp out this kind of offending on the rail network and I hope this sends a clear warning that our officers are extremely vigilant at spotting fraudulent behaviour. 

“I am particularly pleased that the money we seized as part of our investigation will be divided up and given to  more deserving charities. Passengers would have donated money in good faith; it is only fair it is taken from Ilesanmi and handed to a worthy cause.”

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