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When your defence against theft is bribery

This is fun:

The commission began its inquiry in 2019 after one of the foundation’s trustees, Lisa Edwards, took out a high court injunction against the Dribbens and former chair David Kam after discovering the charity had reimbursed Lee Gribben for £840,000 of spending on his personal credit card over a three-year period.

This included the purchase of Apple watches, a £1,000 iPhone and a £300 Dyson hairdryer. When asked by the commission what these were for, Lee Gribben said they were gifts “for people we thought would be of help to us in the future” such as local authority employees.

The commission stated: “This is not an acceptable or appropriate use of charity funds and raises concerns of questionable practices as to how the charity operated and whether it was compliant with the Bribery Act 2010.”

11 thoughts on “When your defence against theft is bribery”

  1. As for bribery, aren’t politicians of every stripe who promise voters untold riches in subsidies, benefits and preferential advancement, any more innocent than countries that secure World Cup venues with suitcases full of cash.

  2. Reminds me of the Ecclestone “bribery” case, where after several years of proceedings, Bernie was advised by the court he could pay a fee to make it all go away. All quite legal.
    “It’s different when we do it, because.”

  3. Its obvious to me that the entire charity sector is full of rotten apples. Its too easy to set up a ‘charity’ and then run it as a personal piggy bank. Big salaries and ‘expenses’ can be used to eat up the charity’s income for no public benefit whatsoever.

    The entire charity sector needs totally reforming. Its become a bloated behemoth that likes to virtue signal how ‘moral’ it is, while stealing the silver while everyone’s gaze is diverted elsewhere. There should be limits on how much money a charity can spend on admin and salaries, plus a cap on pay and expenses. What it essentially political campaigning should be banned. Charities should be purely for organisations doing actual good for the benefit of actual people and living entities (ie animals). If a charity can’t name actual people its helping then it should have all tax advantages removed.

  4. Evolutionary timeline…

    Charity > Business > Racket.

    The moment a charity employs its first worker, it is no longer a charity.

  5. Running up £840k in three years on the cards is quite impressive. Must have got quite a few airmails.

    Plus: what Jim said.

  6. I’m afraid I’d be more severe than Jim. I’d remove a charity’s tax advantages if it’s help was doing actual harm to us.

    I’m thinking of the gusher of aid to Yemen. There’s no doubt the Houthis could not continue their war without the torrent of aid we drench them with. Since it’s not in our interests that they conquer Saudi Arabia, I’d argue that all such aid should cease.

  7. Good point BniC.

    Must admit I can’t think of any good reason to support the Sahrawi ‘refugees’. But then I don’t care whether the former Spanish Sahara is ruled by Morocco, Algeria, the Sahrawis, or even the Spaniards. So I think we should let the locals pay for their own war.

    Still perhaps you can think of a reason to support that one too.


    Well there’s another data point for my theory that any man who wears mirrored glasses is a wrong-un. And they are property developers, which immediately puts them somewhere on the spectrum of ‘purveyor of sharp practice’ through to ‘a c*nt that deserves a bullet in the back of the head’.

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