Charity chief jailed for £27k fraud

A former treasurer of the MS Society has been banged up in jail for stealing nearly £27,000 from the charity by writing himself more than 70 cheques.
Philip Wrench, a volunteer at the Macclesfield branch, was sentenced to 16 months in prison at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position.
He wrote himself 71 cheques worth a total of £26,974 between March 2010 and February this year. His actions wiped out over a quarter of the branch’s £100,000 local income raised by fundraising.
Wrench had worked for six years at the charity, which supports people suffering from multiple sclerosis and funds research into the disease.
He resigned in March after failing to complete the charity’s annual accounts and it was then that auditors uncovered the fraud and called in the police.
Derek Farmer, chair of the branch, said: “Philip Wrench took on a position of responsibility with our branch and we were shocked and dismayed at his actions.
“It was our robust internal processes that brought to light irregularities in our branch accounts, and we passed these on to the police. We are satisfied that this matter has been brought to a conclusion by the courts and we can now begin our own internal audit review to ensure our processes are as strong as they can be.
“We cannot do the work we do without the trust and generosity of our members and supporters, and I would like to reassure them that this matter has been dealt with quickly and we can now get on with what we’re here for – to support people with multiple sclerosis.”
Detective Constable Sarah Newton from Cheshire Constabulary, who investigated the case, said: “I hope he takes his time behind bars to consider the impact his crime has had on the charity.”

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