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TPR forces fraudster to repay over quarter of a million pounds swindled from charity’s pension scheme

Ref: PN20-24

Issued: Friday 4 September 2020

A fraudster who swindled a charity’s pension scheme out of more than £250,000 has today been ordered to pay back the money he stole.

Patrick McLarry, 72, from Bere Alston, Devon, defrauded the pension scheme of Yateley Industries for the Disabled, a charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable adults.

He spent the cash on a home and a warehouse in the south of France, a house in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire, and to repay a debt he owed over the purchase of a pub lease in Portsmouth.

McLarry, who was CEO of the charity, was handed a five-year jail sentence at Winchester Crown Court in February 2020.

Determined to see justice for the fraudster’s victims, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) used the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) to secure a confiscation order against the former charity chief.

Sitting at Salisbury Crown Court, judge Recorder James Waddington QC ordered McLarry to pay £286,852 to the Yateley Industries for the Disabled Pension Scheme, to compensate members for the sums he stole adjusted to account for inflation.

The defendant is required to pay the amount in full within three months. If he fails to pay the judge has ordered him to serve an additional three-year prison term and he will still be required to pay the money back to the scheme.

He was also ordered to pay £71,477 to cover TPR’s legal costs.

Erica Carroll, TPR’s Director of Enforcement said: “McLarry abused his position to steal money from the scheme’s members, money which was supposed to help pay for their retirement. Instead, he spent the money on himself.

“He received a lengthy jail sentence for his crime and quite rightly he must now return the money he stole back to the pension scheme for the benefit of its members. If he fails to hand over the cash, he will have to serve an extra three years in jail and still have to pay up.

“TPR will not flinch from using every weapon in our arsenal to tackle pension fraudsters and will continue to protect savers’ retirements.”

Yateley Industries for the Disabled’s chief executive Sam Peplow, who said: “Yateley Industries for the Disabled is very grateful to the TPR for pursing this case and providing justice to the people of Yateley Industries.”

At the time of the fraud, McLarry was the chief executive and chairman of the charity and a director of VerdePlanet Limited, the corporate trustee of the charity’s pension scheme.

Notes to editors

  • For more details on McLarry’s previous sentencing please see the press release issued in February 2020.
  • The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) sets out the legislative scheme for the recovery of money from criminal conduct following a confiscation investigation. Confiscation occurs after a conviction has taken place. The aim is to deny criminals the benefit of their criminal conduct, recover the proceeds of crime and disrupt and deter criminality.
  • TPR is the regulator of work-based pension schemes in the UK. Our statutory objectives are: to protect members’ benefits; to reduce the risk of calls on the Pension Protection Fund (PPF); to promote, and to improve understanding of, the good administration of work-based pension schemes; to maximise employer compliance with automatic enrolment duties; and to minimise any adverse impact on the sustainable growth of an employer (in relation to the exercise of the regulator’s functions under Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 only).

Press contacts

Dan Menhinnitt

Media Officer
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 349511

Matt Adams

Media Relations Manager
pressoffice@tpr.gov.uk
01273 662086

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