Ex-charity boss facing forgery charges

Ex-charity boss facing forgery charges

The former director of a registered charity in Derry, which helps to integrate migrants into the local community, has gone on trial at the city's Crown Court charged with fifteen counts including fraud and forgery.

Eddie Kerr, 60 and from Ashfield Terrace in the Rosemount area of the city, who is also a playwright, denies committing the offences when he was the director of the charity Solidarity, Equality, Education, Diversity and Support (SEEDS) between February 2009 and March 2011.As well as the fraud and forgery counts, he is also charged with falsifying another man's signature to make grant and funding applications to three organisations.A prosecution barrister told jurors that the case against the defendant was that he made several duplicate applications to the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, to Derry City Council and to the North-West 3 Peace Cluster organisations for funding for his £30,000 a year salary as director of SEEDS and for rent reimbursements.The barrister described the defendant's alleged actions as dishonest as he must have known that when applied to one of the organisations for financial assistance, he'd already received funding from one of the other groups for the same purpose."The prosecution case is that the defendant knew full well that if he had disclosed to one of the organisations that he'd already received funding, that he would not have received further funding for the same purpose," he told the jury."In essence, we simply don't know what he did with the money," the barrister added.The prosecutor told the jurors that in his second police interview the defendant handed the officers a pre-prepared written statement."It stated, if I am culpable of anything, it is of re-profiling money without permission and of poor administrative practices. I am conscious this was public money and as such I am accountable for that spend," the barrister said.The trial continues.


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