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Father found guilty of stealing from son's cancer funds

15/08/2013

Kevin Wright was convicted at Nottingham Crown Court today (15 August) of stealing money from funds he set up to finance overseas cancer treatment for his son and three other children.

Wright gathered nearly £1,000,000 in donations across four different funds between May 2005 and December 2008. However, the court heard that more than £800,000 of this money was syphoned off by Wright and spent on various personal investments including a restaurant, a pub, a car dealership and several family holidays. None of this £800,000 was used for the purpose for which members of the public had entrusted it to him.

Fundraising was carried out through the sale of lottery tickets, collection boxes in commercial premises and through websites.

Andrew West, a specialist fraud lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Kevin Wright abused his high position of trust in the most cynical and dishonest way possible. Whatever the original motive for setting up the Bobby Wright Cancer Fighting Fund, over time Kevin Wright became adept at manipulating people's natural sympathies to defraud the public out of vast sums of money.

"Kevin Wright shamelessly used donations to the charitable funds to finance his own business interests and personal lifestyle, believing he had carte blanche to spend the publicly donated money as he liked, and seeing no wrong in deceiving those who were moved to help. Not only were his actions dishonest, they were also often to the detriment of the children and families he claimed to be helping."

Kevin Wright was found guilty of ten counts of theft and two of fraud. He will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on 5 September.

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