by Honorary Insider
BreakinG news: TODAY KOPTALK WAS BANNED PERMANENTLY FROM NEWS NOW – CLICK HERE
You may remember my recent post on here, Koptalk “charity” site closed after police and commission informed.
It detailed the history of the Lauren and Mortgage Pledge Fund – including my personal support for it. The post was widely read and received many comments.
It looks like there is a strong interest in having the blog hold Duncan Oldham to account for all the monies raised. We are willing to do this after we have prepared a dossier. We are willing to report it to the Charity Commissioners and, depending on whatever advice they give us, to the Northumbria Police, if appropriate.
BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP:
1. Let us know if you contributed to the Lauren & Mortgage Pledge Fund. This would include money, goods or services. Also indicate if you have supporting documents for your donations or any form of receipt. Also let us know if you know what others contributed.
2. Let us know of any activities which Duncan Oldham said was for the benefit of the charity, such as raffles, or the sale of balls, shirts or anything else.
3. We will report back our summary findings on the blog. If we then decide to file a formal complaint we will be asking any who contributed to the funds to allow us to attach their name to it. That would be anyone who donated cash, goods or services or bought raffle tickets or goods or services which were sold on the basis that part or all the proceeds would go to the funds.
We will not attach your name without your explicit written permission. We would never publicise your name. We would protect your privacy at all times. Please write with information even if you anticipate that you would not want to attach your name.
Send your emails to rupertinsider @ gmail.com or Koptalk.Insider @ gmail.com
I, personally, would then co-ordinate the audit and prepare the dossier.
The Lauren & Mortgage Pledge Fund – Just How Big Did It Get ?
In that first post, I mused that the Fund probably exceeded £1,000 which is the threshold at which a charity must be registered with the Charity Commissioners. Whether the Lauren & Mortgage Fund was a charity, according to the legal definition, or something less, will be up to the Charity Commissioners to decide once they have all the facts.
We know that it was not registered with them.
Judging by the pledges on Koptalk forums at the time, cash donations alone far exceeded that amount. Then there were the unlimited number of signed shirts at Robbie Fowler£199 each, the two FA Cup Final tickets at £1,600 and signed balls and team shirts and possibly raffles and other offers.
As reported on the blog, some who bought and paid for goods from Koptalk never received them and gave up pursuing Oldham when he did not reply. Some received fake memorabilia with fake signatures and fake certificates of authenticity. That is almost a separate issue, but worth mentioning to us if you do write in. Obviously, the profit from those fraudulent deals will have been greater than if they were honest deals. It’s also possible that people paid more because the sales were in aid of a charity.
Was an appeal even necessary?
In my first post I explained how Lauren and her family could have been helped financially if Duncan Oldham had passed on to them my professional advice about special disability benefits available to them and the importance of lodging a claim quickly.
Every day we are receiving new information which makes his appeal for charity look even less credible.
Mumsafan, was a respected poster and moderator on Koptalk at the time. Like many others, she has since left and is now posting on the new site, Est 1892.
She posted there that a personal tragedy similar to Lauren’s befell a friend of hers, who woke one morning unable to walk. But she was able to get financial help from the Social Fund from day one.
In her post, Mumsafan states that she advised Duncan Oldham of this source of funding within days of the tragedy happening to Lauren.
From my own reading of the Social Fund website, it appears that Lauren and her family would have been able to apply for a crisis loan. This, together with her eligibility for Disability Benefits, which I explained in detail in my first post, makes us wonder even more if there was a need for a charity appeal in the first place.
When we have totted it all up we may be shocked at how much Duncan Oldham raised in this appeal and did not account for to the Charity Commissioners or anyone else we know about. Personally, I think we are talking about tens of thousands of pounds, here.
Under pressure from this blog, Oldham has recently said that if anyone wants to know what happened to the money “ask Lauren”.
It may come to that in any subsequent investigation by the authorities.
But we want to be sure that Lauren knows not only what Oldham passed on to her and her family but what he raised in their name. We want the normal, legally required accounting that applies to every charity over £1,000.
It looks like some of those funds were mingled in the same account with Oldham’s business and personal funds. Some donors did not receive receipts. Neither Oldham nor his mother has ever given a public accounting of the money that passed through their hands.
Its time to hold the Koptalk Konman to account.
Photo: Duncan Oldham of the Koptalk website