A man has been charged with fraud and money laundering during an investigation into £5 million of church funds.
Martin Sargeant, who was head of operations for the Diocese of London, was investigated by the Metropolitan Police after a parish raised concerns about funds they had not received.
Mr Sargeant left his job in 2019 after a review of his role. At the time there was no suspicion or evidence of criminality but, last year, the London Diocesan Fund (LDF) made a report to the Action Fraud unit of the Police, and a serious incident report to the Charity Commission.
The former manager is said to have been “allowed to function with little accountability or supervision during the tenure of the former bishop”, according to The Church Times.
The Police have confirmed that the offences being investigated are historic, occurring between 2009 and 2019.
A statement released by the diocese of London said: “The fraud is historic in nature, and does not relate to Common Fund or the present day funding of parishes.
“The Police’s work has involved extensive analysis of financial records relating to both the Diocese and the individual over a long period and the securing of a court order to freeze the individual’s assets.
“The total sum of money involved is believed to be in the region of £5m, affecting a number of different organisations.”
The LDF is continuing to support the Police with its investigation.