Ex-boss jailed for stealing £250,000 from charity

Friday 20 August 2010 14:20 BST

A former senior official at a charity founded by the Prince of Wales was jailed for three years today after he admitted stealing £250,000.

George Gray, 50, was arrested by Scotland Yard detectives probing financial irregularities at the Foundation for Integrated Health.

Police found Gray abused his position as finance director to transfer funds into his own accounts on 35 occasions over two-and-a-half years.

They found that despite commanding an £80,000 salary, Gray was £850,000 in debt, including several loans and credit card accounts.

Gray, of Cricklewood, north London, admitted theft, fraud and money-laundering at Southwark Crown Court, the Metropolitan Police said.

Detective Constable Terry Lambert, of the Met, said: "Gray abused his position of authority and took money that he knew he was not entitled to.

"The overwhelming evidence against him gave him no choice but to plead guilty and the Met are dedicated to bringing those who commit fraud against charitable, public and private organisations to justice."

The planned closure of the Foundation for Integrated Health was brought forward as a result of the police inquiry.

Gray's wife, Gillian, 54, who was also arrested by police on April 26, has been released from bail and will face no further action.

The arrests followed an investigation into around £300,000 of unaccounted funds in the books of the charity, set up in 1993 by Charles.

The Foundation for Integrated Health championed the use of complementary therapies alongside conventional medicine.

It ran a regulation programme which led to the creation of an independent self-regulatory body for complementary therapy.

The Foundation has come under fire in recent years from some critics for allegedly promoting "unscientific" approaches to healthcare.

In February, MPs on the Commons Science and Technology Committee called for an end to homeopathy treatment on the NHS.

But the foundation's medical director, Dr Michael Dixon, insisted that patients benefited from the treatment.

The Prince is patron of many healthcare organisations including Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Duchy Health Charity and Combat Stress.

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