Regulator says bust fundraising firm owes money to Irish charities

Up to 40 aid organisations owed about €70,000 from online company

Charities Regulator chief executive John Farrelly said Irish charities caught up in the collapse of Ammado are owed about €70,000. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Charities Regulator chief executive John Farrelly said Irish charities caught up in the collapse of Ammado are owed about €70,000. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Up to 40 Irish charities may be owed money by a collapsed Dublin online charity donation platform which has gone into liquidation.

The High Court heard last week that Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services, an Irish technology company, failed to pass on €3.8 million collected online for charities.

While the bulk of this money is understood to be owed to international charities, the Charities Regulator in Ireland has found that up to 40 Irish registered charities are owed a total of about €70,000.

The Charities Regulator said it was currently in the process of contacting these potentially affected charities to confirm the numbers and amounts involved.

“We have taken a prudent approach and have potentially identified around 40 Irish-registered charities in the listing,” Charities Regulator chief executive John Farrelly said.

“Their cumulative outstanding balances total around €70,000. However, we believe the actual number of Irish Registered Charities affected will be lower than the 40.”

He reminded registered Irish charities of their obligation under legislation to notify the regulator in writing if they have reasonable grounds for believing they have been victims of fraud.

Investigation

The liquidator told the High Court on Friday that more than 700 charities had been contacted as part of an investigation into the liquidation of the firm which provided online fundraising services.

It believes the €3.8 million was misappropriated for the company’s day-to-day operations and for the personal use of Pembroke’s managing director Peter Conlon.

Mr Conlon (63), a technology entrepreneur, was arrested by the Swiss authorities at Zurich Airport on December 22nd last and has been remanded in custody since then on suspicion of embezzlement.

The International Federation of the Red Cross made a complaint last year over the failure to pass on €1.6 million donated to the charity via the platform, known as Ammado.

Two of the world’s best-known charities – the UN refugee agency UNHCR and Save the Children UK – say they are owed more than €500,000

Pembroke’s liquidator, Myles Kirby of Dublin accountancy firm Kirby Healy, told the High Court this week that last year Mr Conlon started transferring assets into a former shelf company, Ammado Technology, after the Revenue Commissioners tried to wind up the company in September 2017.