Former Diocese of London chief charged with fraud, money laundering

Martin Sargeant, a former Head of Operations at the Anglican Diocesan of London has been accused of fraud and money laundering while he occupied the office, The Christian Post reports.

According to the church in a statement, the 52-year-old was said to have laundered over $5.9 million (£5 million) from the organization between 2009 and 2019.

The Diocese comprises of parishes, missional communities, chaplaincies, schools, and other organizations.

In 2019, the new Bishop of London, Rt. Rev. Sarah Mullally had asked for the role of Sargeant to be reviewed. This made him to quit his position.

The Diocese said that during that period, they did not suspect that Sargeant would have siphoned a lot of funds belonging to the church. Mullally added that the police had to work nonstop to discover the amount of criminality perpetrated by the former Diocese chief.

The Diocese said, “At the time, there was no suspicion or evidence of criminality but, last year, a report was made to the Action Fraud unit of the (Metropolitan Police, and a serious incident report to the Charity Commission, after a parish raised concerns about funds they had not received.”

They also described the fraud as historic in nature and they made it known that the fraud does not have any link to Common Fraud, Bishops’ costs, or the present day funding of parishes.”

On her part, Mullally said, “The police worked tirelessly over the past year. The total sum of money involved is believed to be in the region of £5 million, affecting a number of different organisations.

“This appears to be a gross betrayal of trust for all those who knew and worked with this individual. He (allegedly) exploited his position for personal gain.”

Richard Perry, chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee with the church, said their priority has been to support the police investigation. More so, they will do everything within their power to get back the funds that were stolen.

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