The Chairman of the Victoria Institute reports:
"It is with great regret and sadness that I have to inform the community that earlier this year some anomalies were found in one of the four bank accounts at the Victoria Institute. This was reported to the police via their Action Fraud system, and all other appropriate authorities were notified including the Charity Commission. During recent months a full Investigation has taken place and during that time I was not in a position to reveal any information while the investigation was ongoing.
This whole process has now finished, and the last Treasurer Barbara Dearnley pleaded guilty to two cases of theft and two cases of falsifying accounts, one to the Victoria Institute and one to the Charity commission. She appeared in Preston Crown court on Friday 11th December and was given a custodial sentence of 27 months starting immediately. The police are now in the process of recovering the money through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, in order to reimburse the Victoria Institute.
This has been a very trying time for the Trustees but I can reassure the community that the other three accounts which contained fund raising, donations and grants to the Institute were untouched. The Trustees have done their upmost to continue as normal to run and improve the Institute during this trying time, and will continue to do so and ask for your understanding and continued support."