Fraudster, 71, paid off Portsmouth pub lease after charity plundering pension

THE former head of a charity for the disabled has been jailed for five years for defrauding the charity's pension fund of £256,000 to buy a holiday home in France and pay off debts.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 6:38 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 6:38 pm

Patrick McLarry, who was awarded an MBE for his work for charity, pleaded guilty to transferring the money from the pension fund of Yateley Industries for the Disabled.

Winchester Crown Court was told that the 71-year-old bought a house and a warehouse in south-west France worth £200,000 with the stolen funds, paid off money he owed for the purchase of a pub lease in Portsmouth as well as paid for the deposit on a house in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

The Pensions Regulator, which brought the case, said the pub was the Mary Rose pub in St George’s Road.

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Patrick McLarry outside Salisbury Crown Court. Mr McLarry, the former head of a charity for the disabled, who is attempting to vacate his guilty plea has told Winchester Crown Court that he pleaded guilty in November to defrauding the charity's pension scheme to protect his wife from prosecution and serving a longer prison term than him. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday January 17, 2020. See PA story COURTS Charity. Photo credit should read: Ben Mitchell/PA Wire

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The court has previously heard that McLarry pleaded guilty after gaining confirmation that four charges of money-laundering would be dropped against his 60-year-old wife, Sandra McLarry, who was secretary of the charity.

Sentencing McLarry, from Bere Alston in Devon, judge Andrew Barnett described the fraud as ‘an appalling dishonesty and breach of trust’.

He said: ‘You quite deliberately and in a very calculating way milked the fund of a considerable amount of money which was spent for your own needs and your wife's, I imagine.’

McLarry was previously convicted of failing to disclose his bank statements to TPR.