Fraudsters have used a Manchester charity fundraiser, led by Rod Bond and Formula One stars, to defraud millions in tax relief. Scammers used a number of individuals and front companies to donate millions to the campaign. However, the donations were a sham and paperwork from the charity was used by the fraudsters to fraudulently claim millions in tax relief. The tax relief scam was brought to the attention of the HMRC by event organiser Rod Bond, who witnessed pledges disappearing as bogus cheques bounced.
The Manchester Charity Fundraiser
Organised by philanthropist Rod Bond, with the support of Formula One stars including Lewis Hamilton, the charity extravaganza raised millions. The multi-million pound fundraiser took place across Manchester and Cheshire. The spectacular event comprised knife crime awareness stalls, a Supercar Charity Event, dog and car washes at Tatton Park and Lyme Park estates and a tank parade in central Manchester. Rod Bond and Formula One stars led the activities across the event’s various locations. A record-breaking turnout was recorded, as up to two million participated over the two-day weekend event.
HMRC and the Charities Commission are currently working alongside the charities to whom fraudulent donations were made by the scammers. Fraudsters pounced on the press received by the fundraising event to callously scam millions by way of Gift Aid. Charities affected by the scam include:
- The Ben Kinsella Trust
- Manchester F1 Anti-Knife Crime Summit
- Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
- Dogs on the Streets (DOTS)
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
- Great Ormond Street Hospital
- Help for Heroes (H4)
Event organiser Rod Bond has vowed, “We are working closely with the HMRC and the Charities Commission. We won’t let these fraudsters get away with it.” Formula One drivers expressed their outrage on social media. Writing in a post on Twitter, Lewis Hamilton declared, “I’m outraged at how callous these fraudsters are. No crime is victimless.”