TROUBLE-HIT Manor Residents’ Association has been raided by fraud squad detectives as part of an ongoing investigation into the charity.
Officers were seen leaving the charity’s premises, in Kilmarnock Road, Hartlepool, with computers and files after the raid just before noon yesterday.
The raid comes just days after the Mail revealed the police had been called in to the under-fire charity and officers from a specialist economic crime unit are now carrying out inquiries.
Following yesterday’s raid, a Cleveland Police spokeswoman told the Mail: “Police have attended the address as part of the inquiry.”
The midday raid is yet another blow for the charity.
It follows Hartlepool Borough Council’s recent audit review of the organisation which led to officials raising a number of “issues” and referring them to the police.
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman previously told the Mail how concerns were raised some time ago and the matter was referred to the Charities’ Commission, but evidence has since been produced which detectives are now investigating.
No-one from the charity, which is managed by former Labour councillor Angie Wilcox, was available for comment yesterday.
As well as the council’s audit review, the charity has also been represented in four employment tribunal cases this year, all of which they lost totalling payouts of more than £20,000.
But none of the current or former employees who won the cases have yet received a penny from the charity.
Lynda Gooding, 56, from Forfar Road, the first to launch legal proceedings, is still owed nearly £9,000 after she wasn’t paid the national minimum wage by the charity.
Mrs Gooding paid £100 to execute a bailiffs’ warrant after the deadline for payment from the charity passed.
In August, the organisation 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 from the charity attended the court case.
Employment judges at Teesside Magistrates’ Court has also ordered the charity to pay Carl Williams £3,738, Sharon Henderson, £6,000 and Sue Harriman £3,706. The trio are all still waiting for the money they are owed.
In June, an audit review by Hartlepool Borough Council into Manor Residents’ Association concluded “no assurances” could be given to the procedures in place to manage council funds.
It came after concerns were raised about administrative procedures surrounding payroll, payslips, end of year records and under and overpayment of tax letters.
At the time action plans were drawn up and it was agreed the council’s audit team would revisit the organisations in July and August to ensure recommendations had been implemented and embedded.