Boxing firm severs ties with Doncaster sticker seller amid police fraud investigation

A boxing firm which organises ‘white collar’ fights has severed its links with a Doncaster sticker salesman at the centre of a police fraud investigation.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 15th October 2020, 3:24 pm

Phillip Hartley is being investigated by Cancer Research UK and Action Fraud and has been told to stop fundraising for the charity as ‘discrepancies’ between the amount he claims to have raised and the amount received are probed by police.

Now Ultra White Collar Boxing, who Hartley has been involved with in the past to raise money for Cancer Research, say they have cut ties with him.

The firm sets up charity boxing matches between members of the public, with money raised going to Cancer Research.

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Phillip Hartley is being investigated by Action Fraud.

Spokesman Tony Meenaghan said: “We've looked though our records and can find no evidence of him being involved with Ultra White Collar Boxing since 2015.

"Our fundraising for Cancer Research UK takes place through JustGiving so any money raised by participants for the charity goes straight to them.

“It has come to our attention that Phillip Hartley may have made claims that we approached him to raise money for CRUK.

"This is simply not the case, he was on our mailing list which we send out to potential participants.

“His name has now been removed from that list.”

Last week, nationwide police fraud unit Action Fraud confirmed it was investigating Hartley, 37, of Christ Church Road after being passed a dossier by Cancer Research.

He has previously made claims of raising £30,000 for the charity. However, the figure is understood to be nearer just £1,500.

Cancer Research has told him to stop all fundraising for the charity – but earlier this week, he filmed himself donating £50 at the organisation’s shop in Scot Lane, Doncaster.

The secretly recorded video is now understood to have been passed to both CRUK and the police.

After details of Cancer Research’s investigation broke, bare knuckle boxer Mr Hartley, who also uses the name Phillip L’Estrange and dubs himself the Love Campaigner, has made a number of videos and social media posts dismissing the story as ‘lies’ and ‘fake news’ and launching a smear campaign against Free Press journalist Darren Burke, who penned the story, accusing him of ‘bullying.’

Martin McGlown, spokesman for Cancer Research UK, said: “Following information received, we have looked into Mr Hartley’s fundraising activities and have found discrepancies between the amount of money he publicly claims to have raised and sums received by the charity.

“We have asked Mr Hartley to cease all fundraising activity for Cancer Research UK with immediate effect and we have reported the matter to the police via Action Fraud.

“The charity relies on the generosity of supporters and volunteers to continue its life-saving research into the causes and treatment of cancer and it’s vital that members of the public have trust in those who raise money on our behalf.

“We ask anyone wishing to fundraise for Cancer Research UK to register through our website so that we can offer whatever support they might need, such as official collecting goblets and letters of authority."

The Free Press has seen details of the case from both Cancer Research and Action Fraud, including details of the crime reference number.

In one Facebook post, Hartley wrote: “I have raised nearly £300k for great causes in the past five years. I’ve had five fights for Cancer Research and raised around £30,000 for the cause. I’ve not just raised money for Cancer Research, I’ve bled for them.”

According to his social media, he makes a living selling stickers for £1 on the streets of Doncaster and other local towns and cities, telling buyers that 20% of each sale goes to charity. He also advertises himself as an odd job man and general labourer, again stating that he gives 20% of his earnings to charity.

Anyone with concerns about fundraising activity being undertaken for Cancer Research UK should email [email protected] or phone 0300 123 1022.

Anyone wanting to report fraud to police can contact Action Fraud HERE