THREE men will appear in court amid allegations their forces charity conned the public out of thousands of pounds.
Company director William Knight and colleagues Patrick Jarrett and John Wadsworth have been charged following a year-long investigation by Trading Standards officers into money raised by Wounded Warriors Project UK and Keystone Fundraising Ltd.
A probe was launched following allegations the firms – based on Church Street, Blackpool – were selling raffle tickets promising money raised would be donated to wounded servicemen and women, but were keeping the cash.
Knight, 50, of Midgeland Road, Marton, Jarrett, 45, of Teal Court, Blackpool, and Wadsworth, 56, of Church Street, Blackpool, are said to have sent teams dressed in services’ uniforms on the streets of the UK selling raffle tickets giving the public chance to win upmarket cars.
Knight and Wadsworth face allegations they were involved in misleading trading using false motives which conned the public into making financial donations between December 2009 and June 2010.
Knight, Wadsworth and Jarrett are also alleged to have breached the Proceeds of Crime Act by the illegal transfer of money.
Since the probe began Knight has maintained he donated cash to former servicemen. All three men will appear before Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on March 2.
Tim Coglan, head of enforcement at Blackpool Council, said: “Blackpool Council takes protecting the interests of charities as a paramount importance. It’s important when members of the public are contributing, they are confident the money is destined for their chosen charity.
“If members of the public have any concerns, they can contact my offices in confidence.”