Mining charity president to pay back cash he stole

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A FORMER president of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers who stole from a sick miners’ charity has been ordered to pay the charity back hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Neil Greatrex, aged 62, who was trustee of Nottinghamshire Miners Home, was ordered to pay back £201,327 by a judge.

Greatrex, of Sutton in Ashfield, was jailed for four years in April after he was found guilty of 14 counts of theft.

He was back in court last week for a hearing to seize the proceeds of his crimes.

The judge found he’d benefited to the tune of £148,628 but he was also ordered to pay prosecution costs and interest on the amount of money he stole.

He must pay the money back within 28 days or face a further three years in jail and he will still be liable for the outstanding bill, even if he goes back to prison.

The money will be paid as compensation to the Nottinghamshire Miners Home.

Greatrex’s conviction followed years of investigation by South Yorkshire Police.

The charity set up a trading subsidiary called Phoenix Nursing and Residential Care Home Limited to run a care home called Phoenix Care Centre.

Greatrex wrote cheques to the sum of £150,000, drawn on the accounts of both the trading subsidiary and the charity and used the money to pay for his own home improvements.

South Yorkshire Police’s economic crime unit manager, Graham Wragg, said: “As head of the union and trustee of the home, Greatrex was given a position of trust to care for sick and elderly miners. 
“He abused that trust by stealing from the people for whom he was supposed to care.”

He added: “We are aware of our responsibility to victims of fraud and will strive to make the best use of Proceeds of Crime Act legislation to ensure that they are compensated, wherever possible.”

Michelle Russell, the Charity Commission’s head of investigations and enforcement, said: “The theft of charitable funds is absolutely unacceptable and damages public trust and confidence in charities.

“We welcome this outcome, which highlights that this kind of crime does not go unpunished, and secures the return of the money taken for charitable purposes.”