Labour councillor steals almost £100,000 from charity (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Geoff Hammond abused his position as charity's executive officer to gain tens of thousands of pounds
A former Labour councillor is facing jail after admitting abusing his position to defraud a charity out of almost £100,000.
Geoff Hammond, 50, who represented Higham Hill ward in Walthamstow, admitted the offence during a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday.
Between May 29 2012 and August of this year, Hammond held the position of executive officer of The Fellowship of St John Trust Assocaition.
During the period, Hammond committed fraud through abuse of his position at the Christian charity and stole £99, 493.
Following the charge last month, Hammond stepped down from his position of councillor for Higham Hill ward in Walthamstow.
A spokeswoman for The Fellowship of St John Trust Association said: "Geoffrey Hammond was the executive officer of the charity, the Fellowship of St John (UK) Trust Association from May 2012 to August 2013.
"The internal financial controls of the charity identified that a substantial amount of money was unaccounted for.
"On August 5 Mr Hammond admitted that he had taken the money and he was immediately dismissed for gross misconduct.
"Mr Hammond was arrested in September and pleaded guilty to the theft at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last week.
"Mr Hammond has now repaid all the money taken and costs to date to the Trust."
The Fellowship of St John (UK) Trust Association is a charity that works internationally and across the UK in the areas of Christian education, pastoral care and mission.
Hammond was elected to represent Higham Hill ward in May 2010, achieving 14 per cent of the vote, and held the position until October 2013.
Hammond, of Sollershott East in Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, was granted unconditional bail and is scheduled to appear at Southwark Crown Court for sentencing on January 9.
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