The Charity Commission has removed two trustees from the Coventry-based charity.
The Commission found the trustees' misconduct and/or mismanagement caused significant financial losses, from which the charity was unable to recover.
Mr Nathan Rahulan and Mrs Padma Rahulan had been trustees of the Hindu Community Society since it was registered in 2010. But they mismanaged the charity's finances by obtaining finance to buy a property on terms the charity could not afford to repay, without consulting with the other trustees or seeking financial advice.
The Charity Commission's Inquiry found that in 2012, the charity purchased a property to be used as a base for a temple for the Tamil community in Coventry. The temple was purchased using donations from the local community and a commercial bridging loan, with interest totalling 5,000 per month. Over 500,000 of public donations were then used to construct the temple.
But when the charity was unable to repay the loan, the property was repossessed. Mr Rahulan, again without consulting the other trustees, spent a further 46,000 of the charity's money on legal advice in an unsuccessful attempt to regain ownership.
The charity aimed to advance the Hindu religion and education in Hindu culture, as well as the relief of poverty, distress and sickness in the Tamil community. It has been unable to recover from the financial losses resulting from the Rahulans' misconduct. As it no longer operates, the charity has been removed from the Register of Charities.
Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations, Charity Commission, yesterday said:
The two former trustees' misconduct and mismanagement has caused significant losses to the charity and the local community it supported. Their behaviour falls far below what we'd expect from trustees and hindered the charity's work in the Tamil community.
Charities exist to do good, and it is important that individuals are not able to hinder this good work, or misuse the public's generous donations.
The Charity Commission first opened an investigation into the Hindu Community Society in March 2017, after it defaulted on statutory filing obligations. The Commission exercised its powers to remove Mr and Mrs Rahulan as trustees on 24 March 2020 and 3 March 2021 respectively. They are permanently disqualified from acting as charity trustees.
Notes to Editors:
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- The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
- Hindu Community Society (the charity') was registered on 24 June 2010, with the aims of: the advancement of the Hindu religion; the advancement of education particularly in Hindu culture; and the relief of poverty, distress, and sickness.
- The charity was removed from the Register on 1 November 2021 and is recorded as a removed charity on the Register.
- The full report can be viewed here.
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