Gordon Ross and Richard Reynolds secure the acquittal of charity CEO in £1.5m fraud

Gordon Ross

Richard Reynolds

On 7 November 2019, following a trial of 8 weeks, Gordon Ross leading Richard Reynolds, secured the acquittal of the former Chief Executive Officer of St Margaret's Hospice Trust, the lead defendant in this conspiracy to defraud, which was alleged to involve the "over inflation of estimate costs" and submission of false invoices to obtain grant funding from the Department of Health and Help the Hospices UK.

The trial judge ruled in favour of an application by the defence at the close of the Crowns case that "over inflation of estimate costs" could not provide a foundation for an offence of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. The trial continued regarding the submission of fraudulent false invoices. At the conclusion of the trial the defendant was found Not Guilty by the jury. This major investigation undertaken by the Department of Health Anti-Fraud Unit, and prosecuted by Specialist Fraud Division (Manchester) was estimated to have cost £2 million to bring to trial. It was the Crown's case that the defendant fraudulently obtained £1.5 million capital grants money by deliberately over-inflating capital claims, then drawing the money down using false invoices, in order to use the money elsewhere. Two others had pleaded guilty to the conspiracy.

For more details see: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-50331519 and https://www.somersetcountygazette.co.uk/news/18021374.cleared-ex-hospice-chief-four-others-not-guilty-622k-fraud-two-others-plead-guilty/.

Gordon and Richard were instructed by Darren Flight of Harris Cuffaro Nichols




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