The City of London Police have opened a criminal investigation against Charlton Athletic footballer, Richard Rufus, who lost £3.9m of Kingsway International Christian Centre’s money through investments.
Between 2009 and 2010, Rufus, a then trustee, encouraged the church to give him £5m to invest in financial markets, promising a 55% return per year. He took a total of £16.2m from various investors including this church.
Rufus then lost £3.9m of the church’s money and resigned, leading to a 2011 investigation by the Financial Services Authority(FSA) and then bankruptcy in 2013.
In 2014, the government appointed – Charity Commission – to investigate the matter concluding in 2016 that the trustees “did not exercise sufficient care” when they gave Rufus the money.
This incident is the second time the Commission are stepping into KICC. The first being when the church founder Matthew Ashimolowo was ordered to return the £200,000 he used to buy personal lavish gifts.
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In this case, though Ashimolowo knew about the investment, he could not be made liable as he was not a trustee non part of the deciding panel.
The case continues…