Thursday 2nd August, 2018
A former Age Concern branch boss has been jailed for defrauding the charity out of more than £700,000 to support an extravagant lifestyle and pension pot.
The chief executive at Age Concern’s South Tyneside office used fake invoices and banked unauthorised bonus payments between 2007 and 2015.
He was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court and sentenced to seven years in prison along with being banned as a director for 10 years.
The BBC reported, the jury heard Briers paid 60 fraudulent cheques amounting to £433,236 into his bank account, as well as awarding himself £105,560 in 12 unauthorised bonuses, and £169,703 through 19 unauthorised top-ups to his pension.
The fraud came to light in August 2015 when the charity's finance officer raised concerns about an invoice claiming to be from an architecture firm.
To cover his tracks he claimed he had banked the cheques as reimbursement for paying suppliers out of his own pocket and said the original invoices had been lost and replaced with substitutes.
The charity said: "We are deeply saddened by this serious breach of trust and highly conscious of how much more might have been done by the local charity to help older people in the South Tyneside area if it had not happened."
Graham Cassidy who challenged him after he spotted a false invoice, told the court the fraud has left the branch struggling despite being rebranded.