A Liverpool businessman has been jailed for three years and nine months after admitting to taking over £200,000 from charity collection boxes.
Harris Polak, 54, a member of Liverpool’s Childwall Synagogue, hired collectors to stand outside supermarkets, in Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire.
They used charity buckets to raise funds on behalf of Cancer Research UK, Clatterbridge Cancer Research Trust and Cerebral Palsy Care for Children.
Mr Polak was contracted to take a share of the collections, but when police raided his Childwall home, they found notes that appeared to show undeclared sums.
Mr Polak pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position in relation to taking £213,906.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that Mr Polak’s family home had been repossessed, he was facing bankruptcy and had been working as a taxi driver to make ends meet.
He will face a proceeds of crime hearing later this year to assess what assets he must surrender.
Detective Sergeant Dave Gates said: “This was a despicable crime defrauding charities of much-needed funds. Members of the public were deceived by Harris Polak into donating money for genuine charities and he used his ill-gotten gains for his own financial benefit.
“Mr Polak was a well-known and respected member of his local community. He hasn’t just let himself and his family down, he has let down all those people who trusted him to raise funds for deserving charities and he has been sentenced to 45 months in jail for his shameful deception.”