Statement from John Mills CBE, the Jersey Charity Commissioner, in relation to the sentencing of Stephen Coleman, former CEO of the JSPCA, 7th February 2020.
The sentencing of Stephen Coleman to 7 years imprisonment in relation to criminal charges including fraud against the JSPCA, demonstrates the seriousness of the crimes committed and the stance the Court will take in such cases. There is clearly much here from which all registered charities can, and should, learn.
Charities exist to do good. Governors of registered charities have a duty to ensure that their resources are used for providing public benefit. This case offers an opportunity for all of them to reflect upon, and review where necessary, their financial controls, procedures and practices.
Having weak internal financial controls and procedures can make charities susceptible to insider fraud. By strengthening these procedures and processes, governors can reduce the risk of this happening. If anyone has any concerns in this regard, I invite them to contact the team at my office for advice and support. All contact details are available on the website.