Call for police investigation of the Koptalk-Oldham Lauren charity

by Rupert Insider

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With Duncan Oldham and his mother, Jeannette Oldham, about to do a runner out of the UK, it is urgent that the police investigate the unregistered charity known as the “YNWA Lauren Appeal ” that they both organised through Koptalk.com.

I have set out a summary of the facts and of the suspicions below taken from Blog v Koptalk in the tool bar. Any one with any correspondence, screen shots or clear memories of the events are asked to leave comments or send me an email. Please make corrections to any errors in this summary.

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The most notorious case involved a charity for Lauren Forsyth, a teenager whom Oldham describes as a cousin and a LFC supporter. He exploited the generosity of LFC supporters by labelling it a “YNWA appeal”. He begged for money for her health care and the remodelling of part of her home. But both those items were already being paid for by public authorities. As the money started to come in he then begged for money for other items and to pay off her parents’ mortgage. He used the charity as justification for selling and raffling LFC tickets and LFC memorabilia (some of it fake) for exorbitant profits.

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He did not register the charity, as required by law, or observe any of the required accounting or reporting procedures. He never gave the name of the bank handling it. He appeared to mingle the money with his personal and business revenues and expenditures.

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(Page from the special web site he set up for the appeal asking for donations to be sent to him, preferably by PayPal. But the appeal was conducted mainly from Koptalk.com. On Koptalk he initially directed donations be made to him but then directed that they be made payable to his mother, Jeannette Oldham. He set monthly appeal targets on KopTalk and once published a list of all members who had not donated. Some who donated have reported they did not receive receipts).

He launched the appeal early in 2005 and kept it going until the middle of 2006 when this blog arrived on the scene and began to ask questions.

The Charity Commissioners confirmed to the blog that the charity was not registered and recommended that the police be informed. Oldham closed the special appeal site suddenly without explanation when an occasional contributor to the blog reported on the blog that he had made a complaint by telephone to the police in Staffordshire (Oldham did not live in Staffordshire). He made some secondary reference to the Wallsend police.

On the day he launched the appeal Oldham said he could not make a donation because he was unwaged and had no money. After the launch he bought a later model of his Mercedes Sports Convertible, bought other vehicles and an array of high tech equipment, went on several foreign trips and claimed to be in the market for and the actual owner of several properties in the UK and abroad.

In October 2005, for example, he paid £93,000 for No 1 St Oswald’s Road, Wallsend and in February 2006 built a 27 ft KopTalk HQ alongside the new house.

To deceive enquirers, he claimed he built the HQ in the garden of his official address at 5 Swan Avenue, Wallsend which he bought in 2002. He also claimed to have paid for his mother’s house in 2002 at No 1 Swan Avenue.

He took over Koptalk in 1998 claiming to be unwaged and poor. He has continued to say right up until 2007 that he is unwaged that Koptalk is a hobby or selfless service for others and that any revenues are ploughed back into the site. He also claims that Steve MacNeish works 17 hours a day 7 days a week on Koptalk is also unwaged.

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(KT HQ at 1 St. Oswald’s Road).

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(KT and Lauren appeal office in Jeannette Oldham’s house 1 Swan Avenue)

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(Oldham’s Mercedes outside his official address at No 5 Swan Avenue)

Satellite map showing locations of three Wallsend Properties and four vehicles at two of the addresses

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11 Responses to “Call for police investigation of the Koptalk-Oldham Lauren charity”

  1. Barry Wom Says:

    Have the police not already been informed of this though? I don’t understand what more can happen? Unless I’m missing something?

  2. rupertinsider Says:

    All I can say is I have not registered a complaint with the police, I do not live in the UK at the moment. I do not think Insider Insider (II) has registered a complaint with the police on the Lauren appeal, although he may have without my knowledge.

    Its my understanding that II did speak to the Charities Commissioners who confirmed that the appeal was not registered and therefore illegal. They recommended that it be reported to the police. My understanding is that when the “occasional contributor” said he had made a police report on 10th July 2006 Insider left it at that.

    The “occasional contributor” is Right Insider and you can read his report here:

    https://koptalkinsider.wordpress.com/2006/07/10/dunks-charidee-work/

    I was not very active on the blog at that time and certainly not on the Lauren appeal. I have looked at it properly only today. First I note that the report was to the Staffordshire Police and the complainant never gave them Oldham’s address, probably because Oldham always hid it and we did not discover it until later. I notice he also mentioned he called the Wallsend police – but does not say what he told them. With due respect to him for his initiative, this was hardly a formal complaint or a complete complaint. There was no follow-up reported on the blog or privately, as far as I know.

    What I am calling for is a proper, formal complaint urgently. It should be made to the Chief Constable in writing. Volunteers to add their names to it are welcome, privately by email

    It is not for us to prove anything – it is for Oldham to prove that his illegal, unregistered charity was conducted honestly. That’s why we have a law on charities.

    I have been told recently that police enquiries into Oldham’s financial dealings are underway. I have no idea if that is true. I got it third-hand. If true, a formal complaint from us can only encourage it and this blog provides many leads for enquiries. However, I do not think we should rely on third-hand informal information that we cannot verify.

    The very fact that the Lauren appeal was illegal is grounds enough for the police to investigate. And the Lauren appeal is not the only illegal appeal he has conducted although it is the biggest. They can start today.

    I suggest the police look at Oldham’s and his mother’s PayPal and bank accounts and do an audit. They should establish the source of the money they both have spent on properties, cars, equipment and foreign travel. They should speak to Lauren Forsyth and her family and ask how much they received. They should establish if they had any arrangement to compensate Oldham and his mother and if they, themselves, were part of the illegal scheme. If we can be of assistance in making a list of Oldham’s claims we will.

    If they are still looking for other things to investigate here is a list.

    Securities Fraud – Oldham claims to have taken in 1.3 million pounds for the sale of 10% of Koptalk in 2001 – which is was a year before he bought his first two Wallsend properties. The sale was illegal because it contravened securities laws. It was a “private” offering made to the “public” without a registered prospectus or any accounts.

    He cancelled it because, he says, the largest “sponsor” claimed to have first rights to buy the site. (That is one of the things he would have been obliged to disclose in a prospectus). He said he would return the money to those who asked for it but not all had asked and he might launch the sale again once his contract with the sponsor expired. He also said that returning the money would be dependent on his monthly advertising revenue – itself a breach of securities law and of public trust in so far as it proves he was using the offer for the shares as operating capital. At one time he made passing reference to 100,000 he still had to return.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20010726113236/www.koptalk.co.uk/archive/editor/200701.html

    Fraud – collecting memberships on the basis of false pretences to have inside information about LFC and dealings with the club. Probably amounting to hundreds of thousands of pounds over nine years.

    Fraud – the sale of fake memorabilia with forged players signatures.

    Illegal ticket touting of season tickets and UEFA tickets.

    VAT – failing to register or collect or remit.

    Taxation – suspicion of evasion based on statements that they are unwaged, on their unaccounted wealth and claims to wealth.

    Benefits and National Insurance fraud – suspicion based on repeated statements that he and MacNeish are unwaged and that he has disabilities, yet at the same time claims that they both work 17-18 days 7 days a week on KT.

    Finally, I want to reassure readers that the blog has made substantial representations to “authorities” about other aspects of Oldham’s activities at the request of those authorities and that report is being actively reviewed with a view to action being taken.

  3. Dr Proctor Says:

    Rupert, have you considered sending all these details to Penman & Sommerlad who run a weekly page in The Mirror about scamsters and conmen. A national exposure may be just what is required.

  4. Barry Wom Says:

    rupert – if you’re unsure if a complaint has been lodged, would it not be worth approaching est1892 to try and gather information? As we know, this site is mostly the members of the subscription koptalk and consequently most of the scammed people will be on that site somewhere. Admittedly, some will just want to leave it in the past, but I feel certain there would be several members who would feel strongly enough to help compile evidence and said to the police in the form of a complaint – emphasising the conman may be about to leave the country.

  5. Turnkey Charlie Says:

    Oldham used to start sticky threads and ask people to simply make a donation via pay pal, cash or cheque into his / mum’s personal account.

    He said the money would be used for paying the mortgage and aiding Lauren with luxury comforts such as a wheel chair, laptop and other expensive items.

    Oldham used to put out monthly ‘Mortgage targets.’ Many of the readers used to chip in with big amounts …..some even set up recurring monthly payments such was the turnout.

    I can’t remember how much he was collecting a month, but it was close to the 1000’s.

    I remember thinking at the time – why does he keep on boasting about his new plasma and computer in one thread – whilst claiming to be too poor to donate anything to the Lauren appeal in another?

  6. rupertinsider Says:

    I have now added photos of Jeannette Oldham’s house. She was involved in taking in the money for the Lauren appeal and passing it on. She is also a force behind KT. Some even believe she is the brains and Oldham is merely her gofer.

    Photos under 1 Swan Avenue

    https://koptalkinsider.wordpress.com/2007/06/15/goodbye-to-the-kt-shed-the-merc-and-one-enormous-chair/

    Over what period of time was he making monthly targets and what were the amounts?

  7. rupertinsider Says:

    Barry Wom

    As for Est 1892, I don’t visit it – but I believe Insider does occasionally. However, I can see from the blog’s dashboard that many readers come directly from Est 1892 and some of our most active contributors are also contributors there. As I said, a blog contributor, Honorary Insider, wrote a piece asking for readers to send in information on how much they had contributed to the Lauren appeal. He is also an active contributor on Est 1892. No further action was taken as a result of that piece.

  8. hideous Says:

    I wionder.. has fatty got planning permission for the ‘HQ’ at 1 St Oswald’s Road?

  9. Steve O Says:

    I cannot find any planning applications for the address

    http://publicaccess.northtyneside.gov.uk/PublicAccess/tdc/tdc_home.aspx

    Presumably any decent solicitor would discover this in the sale

  10. rupertinsider Says:

    I’m told that there is outline planning permission for the shed at that address.

  11. insider outline Says:

    Rupert Insider, your notes are very interesting to read. Thank you very much.


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