THE manager of an under-fire community group and her daughter were both arrested in an early-morning swoop by fraud squad detectives.
Officers swooped early yesterday morning and arrested former councillor Angie Wilcox and her 26-year-old daughter Sarah Stead on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and false accounting.
The arrests come less than a month after Cleveland Police’s Economic Crime Unit launched an investigation into complaints of financial irregularities at Manor Residents Association, based in Kilmarnock Road, Hartlepool.
Mrs Wilcox and her daughter were both arrested at around 7.30am as fraud squad detectives stepped up their investigation into the charity.
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police told the Mail: “Two Hartlepool women, aged 50 and 26, were arrested on Tuesday morning by detectives from Cleveland Police Economic Crime Unit who are investigating complaints of financial irregularities at Manor Residents’ Association.
“The two women were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and false accounting.”
The pair were interviewed by officers yesterday at Hartlepool Police Station, in Avenue Road.
The arrests are yet another blow for the charity.
Earlier this year an audit review carried out by Hartlepool Borough Council led to officials raising a number of “issues” and referring them to the police.
The audit review came after concerns were raised about administrative procedures surrounding payroll, payslips, end of year records and under and over payment of tax letters.
The review concluded “no assurances” could be given to the procedures in place to manage council funds.
That followed four employment tribunal cases against the charity in Middlesbrough County Court, all of which they lost.
Manor Residents’ Association was ordered to pay almost £9,000 to former cleaner Lynda Gooding, who wasn’t paid the national minimum wage by the charity.
Mrs Gooding paid £100 to execute a bailiffs’ warrant after the deadline for payment passed.
In August, the organisation then submitted an application to Hartlepool County Court to suspend the warrant while a Company Voluntary Arrangement was finalised, but the judge took just 30 seconds to strike off the application after nobody turned up to represent the charity at the court case.
Mrs Gooding, 56, from Forfar Road, is still yet to receive a penny of the £8,805 she is owed.
Carl Williams, Sharon Henderson and Sue Harriman also won employment tribunal cases against the charity - totalling more than £13,000 - but the trio are all still waiting for the money they are owed.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman previously told the Mail how concerns were raised some time ago about Manor Residents’ Association and the matter was referred to the Charities’ Commission, but evidence was then produced which triggered detectives to start the investigation.