United Learning’s accounts reveal it was the victim of a £240,000 deception
Hundreds of thousands of pounds has been paid into fraudulent bank accounts by multi-academy trusts.
Academy chains were tricked into sending significant sums to con artists, and thousands of pounds are yet to be recovered, accounts reveal.
United Learning paid a “valid, appropriately approved” construction invoice of £240,800 into a fraudulent bank account during 2015-16, and the chain is still working to recover £19,917.
The trust’s annual report concludes that the incident – spotted a year ago – showed that “internal controls in place were insufficient ”.
United Learning told TES that it had contacted the police, recovered “the vast majority” of the stolen money, and had “tightened” controls.
Bright Futures Educational Trust fell victim to a similar crime, paying a “valid, appropriately approved invoice for £15,999 into a fraudulent bank account”. It has introduced extra controls, recovered most of the cash and is “working to recover the remaining £5,297”.
Academy handed £2m for building repairs after disgraced head squandered cash on ‘sex den’
Sawtry Village Academy fell into disrepair after years of neglect by its former principal James Stewart, who is now in jail for fraud and misconduct in a public office
A local authority is spending £2 million on bailing out an academy school that fell into disrepair after its former principal squandered funds on turning his office into a sex den.
Cambridge County Council has decided to step in to help the Sawtry Village Academy. It has asked the Education and Skills Funding Agency for another £1.5 million, but the funds “aren’t forthcoming”, according to the Cambridge News.
The school has been struggling with the legacy left by its disgraced former principal, James Stewart, who defrauded the school out of more than £100,000.
In October this year, Stewart was sentenced to four years in prison, after pleading guilty to four counts of fraud, two counts of aiding and abetting fraud and one count of misconduct in public office. The offences took place between 2011 and 2014.
Spotted by LucyJ