Charities probed over late accounts


The Charity Commission has opened new inquiries into two Orthodox Jewish charities as part of a wider crackdown on organisations that have failed to submit their accounts on time.

Both the Bfon Trust, based in Golders Green, and the Chevras Machzikei Mesifta (Chevras MM) in Hackney, north London, had previously been the subject of investigations by the charity watchdog.

Over the past year and a half reports have been published into a further nine Orthodox charities found to be behind on their accounts. Both Bfon and Chevras MM had come under scrutiny for failing to send the commission their accounts for 2012 and 2013.

Although these were subsequently produced, the commission has opened fresh inquiries into the two charities after their 2014 accounts became overdue this year.

The commission recently published reports into two of the other Jewish charities that had failed to file documents.

Rav Chesed Trust, also based in Hackney, explained that its accountants and auditors had been “slow to attend” to its accounts. But the commission said that this was “not a reason for non-compliance”. Three sets of accounts for the years 2011-13 and covering £1,480,000 of charitable income had now been filed.

Another Hackney-based charity, Friends of Horim Establishments Tel Aviv and Arad, said that the death of a trustee had caused delays, as well as “substantial non-co-operation” by its bankers. But the commission also concluded that this was “not a legitimate excuse”. The inquiry was ended after the receipt of accounts for 2012 and 2013 detailing £315,000 of charitable income.

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