We reported on this previously here: London diocese: Update on fraud investigation.
Today, the Birmingham Mail reported this development: Former church official from Dudley accused of ‘defrauding charity of more than £5million’
A former church official from Dudley accused of clocking up “more flights than globetrotting broadcaster Alan Whicker” has appeared in court charged with defrauding a charity of more than £5 million. Martin Sargeant worked as operations manager for the Church of England’s Diocese of London from 2008 until his retirement in 2019 and was clerk of the City church grants committee.
The 52-year-old is accused of defrauding the charitable trust – set up by an Act of Parliament in 1891 to support and fund the restoration of churches and chaired by the Archdeacon of London – of about £5.2 million over 10 years. Sargeant is also charged with money laundering after allegedly spending the funds on gambling and flying more than 180 times with British Airways..
…The fraud charge alleges Sargeant abused his position as operations manager to make a gain of about £5.2 million between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2019. He is accused of fraudulently requesting grants for funding for dysfunctional churches to steal the money by transferring funds through church bank accounts he controlled as part of his job.
The money was then allegedly moved into accounts he controlled and that were in his name, before Sargeant spent it on “personal entertainment or frivolous things like gambling,” said Mr Packenham. Magistrates decided the charges were too serious to be dealt with in the magistrates’ court and sent the case to Southwark Crown Court, where Sargeant will appear at a later date.