11 Jul 2019
The Charity Commission of England and Wales on Tuesday disclosed a formal inquiry into a group of linked charities suspected of involvement in money laundering.
The independent regulator initially launched the investigation in June 2014 following a warning by the Metropolitan Police Service that the charities, which share trustees, had potentially been used to launder £10 million. The commission, however, didn’t announce the inquiry at the time due to concerns that it could prejudice criminal proceedings, according to a statement.
Earlier this month, Edward Cohen of London was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison for benefit fraud, theft-related offences and money laundering linked to Chabad UK and the seven other charities cited by the commission on Tuesday.
Cohen, who served as the administrator of Chabad, laundered the proceeds of counterfeit erectile dysfunction and diet pills through 14 bank accounts tied to the nonprofit and its affiliated companies, according to a statement by the Metropolitan Police.
Between March 2012 and September 2014, Chabad UK and other charities processed £10.3 million in payments through the accounts, though only a “very small portion” appeared to be legitimate donations, the Metropolitan Police said.
The commission now expects to wrap up its inquiry into Chabad UK, Havenpoint Worldwide, Mamosh Worldwide, Or Simcha, Ozer Dalim, Pikuach Nefesh, Worldwide Hatzala and Havenpoint, according to the statement.
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