The founder of a cancer charity who used funds for his own interests, investments and lifestyle has been found guilty of theft and fraud. Kevin Wright, who set up a charity to raise money for children suffering from cancer in 2005 after his own son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, was found guilty of stealing over £800,000 in donations to fund his own “interests, investments and personal lifestyle”.
The charity, Bobby’s Fund, which was originally set up with the aim of funding lifesaving treatment for Wright’s son Bobby, continued in the guise of funding lifesaving treatment for children in New York, even after the recovery of Wright’s son, now aged 11.
Throughout the trial, witnesses, including the parents of children who had been the supposed benefactors of treatment in the US, heard how Wright claimed that he would ‘bend over backwards” to help other families in the same position as himself. Despite the true extent of the funds raised by Wright’s charity, none of the children ever received any of the promised medical attention.
During the trial, it was revealed that Wright had pumped several thousands of pounds into numerous business and other investments. These included a £60,000 investment in premium bonds, £60,000 for the purchase of two pubs, a £20,000 sum which was paid to a friend who ran a car business, and the purchase of a restaurant, which Wright claimed he wanted to use to educate parents about food.
Following a five week trial, Wright was found guilty on eight counts of theft and two counts of fraud. Sentencing will take place at Nottingham Crown court in September.
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