By NAN Contributor
News Americas, LONDON, England, Fri. July 20, 2018: As the countdown begins to the 2018 Nottinghill Carnival in London this August, the association is reeling from the fact that a Trinidadian-born, former employee defrauded one of its charities of some £800,000 or over US$1 million.
Nadia Deone Chase Ali was employed as a financial officer with Carnival Village Trust (CVT), a charity of the carnival. She then went on to work freelance for the organization and oversee the financial interests of the charity.
But over the course of two years, from March 2014 to December 2016, investigators and prosecutors claim Ali was essentially overseeing her own interest, siphoning off £784,262.56 (US$ 1.02 million) from two of the organization’s bank accounts into four of hers.
According to UK prosecutors, Ali disguised the transactions as payments to legitimate suppliers, service providers and government organizations and made 530 separate payments. She reportedly sent the money to her family in Trinidad.
To conceal the theft, she stole a significant number of financial documents, including outstanding invoices, payments demand letters and financial statements, from the charity and company. These were found at her home address when she was arrested on March 16, 2017.
Investigators said Ali provided no explanation in an interview for the fraud or documents found at her home at Bonchurch Road, West London. She was charged seven months after arrest, and on day two of her trial which began on June 11 in the Isleworth Crown Court, she changed her plea for two counts – fraud by abuse of position and removal of criminal property out of England and Wales. She continued to plead not guilty to theft of the financial documents from the Tabernacle.
However, following a jury trial, she was found guilty on June 15th of theft, fraud by abuse of position and removal of criminal property from England and Wales.
She was sentenced on July 13, 2018, however. The 35-year-old will now spend the next six years of her life in prison after being convicted of fraud by abuse of position, theft and removing money from England and Wales.
According to the Charity Commission website, the Carnival Village Trust, defines itself as a London “development agency for Carnival Arts.” It had an income of almost £1.5m and spent almost £1.6m in the year to 31 March 2017. The accounts were submitted 147 days late. The charity, according to its website, is chaired by Ian Comfort.