A man who stole commuters' donations to charity across eight counties has been sentenced to 13 months in prison.
Roy Bardy, 48, of Dagenham, Essex, was sentenced yesterday at Blackfriars Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation.
For a period of three years Bardy recruited volunteers and employees to stand at rail stations across the country to collect money for many local charities. These activities took place in Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, London and Merseyside.
British Transport Police officers investigated his activities after commuters had complained of suspicious behaviour by him and his collectors.
Full extent of actions not known
Following a search of his office in Dagenham he was arrested in November 2010. The police discovered that he had been contacting charities and offering his services to recruit teams to collect donations at railway stations. He then secured authorised positions for collectors from various train operation companies.
The charities however were not aware of what he was doing in their name.
British Transport Police say that "the full financial extent of Bardy’s actions are not known" but officers did find evidence for 81 incidents where collections on behalf of two charities took place or were planned to take place.
Although some of these collections may have been legitimate, Bardy admitted some money collected had been taken for himself.
"A manipulator, and a dishonest man"
Judge Henry Blacksell told Bardy: “You saw an opportunity to make money from charities which you manipulated to your advantage. You made multiple fraudulent, deceiving transactions over the years. It was a breach of trust and a representation which causes people to suffer.
“You are a manipulator, and a dishonest man.”
Alistair McLean, Chief Executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, congratulated the British Transport Police for securing the successful prosecution. He said: “Although any instances of charity fraud are incredibly rare, they are deeply concerning. Such acts not only deceive supporters and divert much-needed funds from good causes, but carry an even greater cost of damaging public trust and future charitable giving.”
Photo: copyright British Transport Police