Charity Founder Jailed For Fraud and Theft

Friday, 30 April 2021

A man who founded a children’s cancer charity has been jailed for defrauding more than £200,000 from it.

Colin Nesbitt, aged 60, of Kent Road, Bingley, founded the Little Heroes Cancer Trust charity in 2009.  

Whilst he was in his position as founder and chairman of the charity between 2010 and 2015, he defrauded the charity out of hundreds and thousands of pounds to benefit his own personal finances.

He abused his position and as a result of his actions stole thousands of pounds of donations which were raised to assist young children with cancer and their families. 

He also fraudulently transferred money from the charity accounts, loaning people charity money and providing the Charity Commission with false or misleading information.

An extensive investigation was carried out by West Yorkshire Police and the Charity Commission this led to Nesbitt being charged in May 2018 with multiple offences. His case was then committed to crown court for a trial.

Nesbitt was found guilty of four counts of fraud by abuse of position and one count of theft and appeared at Bradford Crown Court today (Friday), where he was sentenced to 20 months in jail.

In passing sentence the Judge said that Nesbitt had betrayed the public and the public confidence in the charity and the charity sector.

Detective Constable Simon Turton, who led on the investigation, said:

“We are pleased to see that Nesbitt has been convicted of these offences and that his custodial sentence reflects the serious nature of this abuse of position which diverted large amount of cash from some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“I would like to thank the former members of staff at Little Heroes Cancer Trust for their actions in exposing Mr Nesbitt’s fraudulent behaviour and for their courage in coming forwards and working with the police during this lengthy investigation.

“It should be noted that many people who were formerly connected with Little Heroes worked hard towards the charities aims and it is testament to those people that despite Mr Nesbitt’s actions numerous children and their families did benefit from the charity.

“We would like to reassure the public that the vast majority of charities operate in a professional and ethical manner; but when information is received that this is not the case then West Yorkshire Police and The Charity Commission will fully investigate such allegations and bring those responsible to justice.”

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