Blind World Magazine

United Kingdom.
Man jailed after stealing 41,000 from blind group.

i c Liverpool (UK).
Tuesday, May 16, 2006.

DISGRACED businessman Peter Harvey was jailed for 14 months today for stealing more than 40,000 from a charity.

The 47-year-old repeatedly plundered funds belonging to Liverpool Talking Newspapers - leaving the charity the brink of collapse and blowing the cash on an extravagant lifestyle, including taking one of his two girlfriends to Paris.

John Dixon, prosecuting, told Liverpool crown court the charity, funded by grants and donations, has operated for 15 years run by 50 volunteers.

It produces news audiotapes for the blind and visually impaired.

Harvey, of Ashtree Grove, Croxteth, became a treasurer in March 2004 - and from the moment he joined until December 2004 forged the signatures of other trustees, who were meant to countersign the cheques, and withdrew 41,500.

The court heard his stealing was exposed when a trustee wrote a cheque on the charity's current account and it was not honoured as there were insufficient funds.

Mr Dixon told the court: "It was discovered there was 7.92 in the savings account and the current account was overdrawn by 250.

"Enquiries commenced and a meeting took place at which the defendant admitted he had been drawing out monies for his own use."

Father-of-one Harvey, who pleaded guilty to 12 charges of theft and asked the court to take a further 38 charges into consideration, told police he owed money to people he refused to name and was being threatened.

The bank has reimbursed Liverpool Talking Newspapers, the court heard.

Jason Smith, mitigating, said Harvey's crimes led to the break-up of his marriage, and his daughter refused to allow him to attend her graduation from university.

He said: "He's lost absolutely everything.

End of article.

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