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Religious leader charged over alleged $100,000 charity fraud - Yagoona

Friday, 01 October 2021 02:12:58 PM

A religious leader has been charged following an investigation into alleged charity fraud offences valued at approximately $100,000 in Sydney’s west.

Earlier this year, officers from Campsie Police Area Command, alongside detectives attached to the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad, commenced an investigation into reports a religious leader had engaged in fraudulent activity.

During the investigation police identified that the man had allegedly established a religious council and was collecting donations from community groups across Australia intended for overseas charities.

Following extensive inquiries, about 7am today (Friday 1 October 2021), police executed a search warrant at an address on Alan Street, Yagoona, where they arrested a 55-year-old man.

During the search, officers seized documentation relevant to the investigation, $6,500 cash and an extendable baton, which will undergo further examination.

The man was taken to Bankstown Police Station, where he was charged with seven counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, three counts of make false/misleading statement for authority/benefit and possess prohibited weapon.

Police will allege the man had been misappropriating charitable funds to the value of approximately $100,000 since 2009 and was falsely reporting information to Fair Trading.

The man was granted conditional bail to appear at Bankstown Local Court on Thursday 21 October 2021.

Investigations are continuing.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.