Lytham-based Lancashire gang accused of ripping off Children in Need and Great Ormond Street Hospital in UK's biggest charity scam

A Lytham-based gang accused of ripping off Children in Need and Great Ormond Street Hospital in UK's biggest charity scam.

By JPIMedia
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 3:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 4:22 pm

The six accused including the alleged ring-leader from Lytham, will appear in court on March 18.

The five men and one woman are charged with carrying out fraud and money laundering over a five year period from a base in the Lancashire seaside town of Lytham St Annes.

They will appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on March 18.

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A gang is accused of a charity scam

More than £1 million in donations made by the British public never reached their destination.

The alleged ring leader is 46-year-old David Levi of Clifton Drive, Lytham St Annes.

He faces 12 charges.

He is charged with dishonestly deceiving the public into thinking their cash donations were going to major charities.

The biggest charitable loser is said to be the BBC's Children in Need charity.

Other charities involved are Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital: The Childrens' Society; Cancer Research; Alzheimer's Society; Sport Relief: MIND; and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

During the two year investigation led by the Lancashire force police seized cash counting machines, charity logos t-shirts, lanyards and Pudsey Bear outfits.

Hummer driver Levi had already been the subject of Proceeds of Crime legal action at court.

He successfully contested that the seizure of his imported American Dodge liveried police vehicle was incorrect and it was returned to him by magistrates as a "tool if his trade" as he hired it to TV and film companies.

Levi also successfully objected to an application made by police at Preston Crown Court in connection with bank account disclosure.

One if the police officers involved in the investigation said: "This has been a long and painstaking inquiry. People make charitable donations in good faith that they are supporting worthwhile causes such at TV's Children in Need.

The other co accused include the 29-year-old female from Lytham.