A former UK church official has pleaded guilty to stealing £5.2m from charity, using the money to fund his addiction to gambling and travel. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Prison time looms
A former UK church official has pleaded guilty to stealing around 5.2 million pounds ($5.8 million) from a charity and using the money to fund his travel and gambling. Martin Sargent worked as Operations Manager for the Diocese of the Church of England in London between 2008 and August 2019.
During that time, he flew on more than 180 flights on British Airways. On Friday, he specifically pleaded guilty in Southwark Crown Court to fraud by abuse of office. He did not plead guilty to the money laundering charge.
He is currently living in a gambling addiction treatment center
The verdict in the case will be pronounced on November 21; The judge released the censor on conditional bail. The defendant is currently living in a gambling addiction treatment center. Judge Adam Hiddleston told the defendant to be prepared for a sentence that would result in some time in prison. The charges in the case were so serious that they had to go to Crown Court instead of Magistrates Court.
Take advantage of alms and churches
The 52-year-old sergeant was the city church grant committee clerk. The Grants Commission was originally started in 1891 as a way to help fund the restoration of churches in the area.
You will submit fraudulent grant applications to churches
To steal money, the censor will submit fraudulent grant applications to churches. He controlled a number of church bank accounts and was able to transfer money through them to his own accounts or through cash withdrawals.
The specified period fraud From January 2009 to December 2019. And only last year, suspicions of Sargent’s guilt surfaced after a parishioner expressed concerns that she had not received certain funds.
Fights gambling addiction
Sargent’s attorney, Mark Rovel, explained during the case that his client had a long-standing addiction to gambling. Having received treatment for these difficulties since then, Rovel said his client has undergone a transformation and understands the damage he has caused. Sargeant owns several properties in Scotland and has plans to sell them, as well as write letters of apology to certain people.
Attorney General Malaki Pakenham previously spoke of how Sargent managed to get away with being deceived for so long, saying, “The simplicity and level of trust placed in the defendant means he can continue to do so over ten years, which is very unusual.”
Buckenham also noted the reputational damage to the charity.