Teesside

Disgusting: Graham Leggatt-Chidgey thousands of hospice money to live luxury lifestyle

Shameful Former hospice Chief Executive Graham Leggatt-Chidgey spent thousands of pounds on himself instead of using that money to treat terminally ill people.

He ran up credit card bills which are not related to the hospice to keep himself in a luxury lifestyle spending thousands that people had kindly donated to keep the hospice going.

he spent More than £30,000 on hotels and restaurant More than £20,000 worth of train and travel expenses, £24,000 worth of computer and software equipment, £18,000 on clothing, jewellery and watches and £4,197 spent in Montblanc on pens, leather goods, watches and accessories.

The court heard how Graham Leggatt-Chidgey was found to have used monies from the Butterwick Hospice to fund a luxury lifestyle for himself. In summary this included circa:

  • £30k on hotels.

This spend was for nights in exclusive hotels including one two night stay in Scotland where he spent more than £1,000 including more than £100 on wine (Photo of receipt available).

  • £20k on travel.

This included spending £410 on First Class rail travel to London.

  • £18k in designer clothes and jewellery

(Photo available of receipt from Charles Tyrwhitt for more than £1,900 which includes a Harris Tweed Coat for £229 and a beige country jacket for £225.)

  • £3k on pens

The court heard how he had bought a number of Mont Blanc pens and accessories, including ink and pen holders (picture available).

  • £4k on technology.

These included purchasing a number of laptops.

Having pleaded guilty Graham Leggatt-Chidgey will soon be sentenced after admitting credit card fraud, he spend thousands of pounds on himself instead of the charity he was leading.

He was due to go on trial at Teeside Crown Court in May, but he has now changed his plea to guilty.

The 62-year-old, of Rokeby, near Barnard Castle, was arrested last May, following an investigation.

He admitted abusing his position by using a hospice credit card for personal expenditure between June 2009 and March 2017.

The hospice is one of Teesside’s best known charities and has offered palliative care for thousands of patients.

A £1.2m purpose-built facility opened in 1997 next to the University Hospital of North Tees.

Detective Constable Chris Pringle, Cleveland Police’s Fraud Investigation Team has today released a statement saying “This was an extremely complex inquiry where a long-serving senior employee in a position of trust had systematically defrauded his employer; a well-established and respected local charity.

“Mr Leggatt-Chidgey’s actions are in direct contrast to the spirit of the hospice’s founder Mary Butterwick, who sold her own home to set up this wonderful facility which has done so much good for the community for more than 30 years.

“Over a lengthy period of time Mr Leggatt-Chidgey helped himself to money – often provided by supporters’ fundraising activities – and I believe the hard working staff and volunteers who have given money, goods or their time to the hospice, will share my utter disgust at what he has done.

“On that note, I’d like to thank all the staff and trustees from Butterwick Hospice who have assisted with the police investigation while continuing to provide patients, their families and friends a service and level of care which is second to none.  Their support has been absolutely invaluable and I wish them well for the future.

“I welcome the sentence handed to Mr Leggatt-Chidgey today and I hope, with the continued support of the community, the Butterwick Hospice can draw a line under this difficult period and continue to go from strength to strength.”

Top tips for businesses and chairties to prevent insider fraid.

  • Vet Employees, CVs and references thoroughly
  • Put Whistleblowing Policy in place
  • Control access to buildings and systems using identification and passwords
  • Restrict and closely monitor access to sensitive information
  • Impose clear segregation duties
  • Consider job rotation
  • Promote a culture of  fraud awareness among staff
  • Adopt a rigorous implement a zero tolerance policy towards employee fraud
  • Have a clear response plan in place in case fraud is discovered.

 

 

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