Inquiry launched into ‘unauthorised trustee benefit’ at cancer charity


A cancer charity is being investigated by the regulator over “serious” concerns about financial controls and “unauthorised trustee benefit”, it has been revealed today.

The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into Melanoma UK – Incorporating Factor 50, eight months after it began to engage with the organisation.

The charity was set up in 2012 to raise awareness of malignant melanoma and to support patients. It is based in Oldham and operates nationwide.

Its most recent accounts, filed with Companies House for the 12 months to 31 August 2021, showed income of £265,000 and expenditure of £223,000.

The Charity Commission’s page about Melanoma UK – Incorporating Factor 50 says it has three trustees, 20 volunteers and one paid employee, who earns between £80,000 and £90,000.

The regulator said it first contacted the charity in September 2022 to examine “serious concerns including unauthorised trustee benefit, financial controls and the level of charitable expenditure”.

A press release today said: “The commission remains concerned about these issues and has escalated its engagement to an inquiry.”

The inquiry was opened on 2 May and will examine:

  • The extent to which the trustees have and are complying with their legal duties in respect of the administration, governance and management of the charity, with particular regard to the management of the charity’s finances and unauthorised trustee and related party benefits.
  • The extent to which any failing or weaknesses in the administration of the charity identified during the inquiry were the result of misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees.

The commission said it “may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge”.

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