Former Yateley disability charity head admits pension fraud

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Yateley Industries
Image caption,
McClarry ran Yateley Industries For The Disabled in Hampshire

The former head of a charity providing work for people with disabilities has admitted he stole £250,000 from its pension fund.

Patrick McLarry, 71, who ran Yateley Industries in Hampshire, took the money between 2011 and 2013.

McLarry, from Bere Alston, Devon, pleaded guilty at Salisbury Crown Court to a charge of fraud.

Judge Andrew Barnett said McLarry would face a "substantial" jail term when he is sentenced on 13 December.

Prosecutors offered no evidence against McLarry's wife, Sandra, 59, who faced four charges of money-laundering, and the judge entered not guilty verdicts.

A registered charity, Yately Industries offers jobs to people with disabilities working in packing and assembling goods for local businesses.

'Good sense'

The prosecution was brought by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the watchdog for workplace pension schemes.

TPR executive director Nicola Parish said: "McLarry posed as a pillar of the community while he was secretly working to steal for himself the pension savings of dozens of disabled workers."

McLarry was the charity's chairman and chief executive while his wife was the secretary of the charity's board.

Judge Barnett said: "Patrick McLarry, you had the good sense and courage, albeit at a late stage, to plead guilty to this matter.

"It's a serious matter and really the only outcome is a substantial prison sentence."

TPR said McLarry used the pension money towards buying a flat in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, as well as a home and a small warehouse in the south of France, and repaying a debt related to the purchase of a pub lease in Portsmouth.

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