Former head of City think-tank to face fraud charge

Charles Taylor, former chief operating officer (COO) of the International Centre for Financial Regulation (ICFR), is to face charges relating to internal fraud at the City think-tank, which went into administration in 2012.

Following an investigation lasting several months, City of London police have issued a statement saying Taylor has been charged with fraud by abuse of position in relation to the internal theft of almost £600,000 and false accounting. He is due to appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on January 21.

ICFR was set up in 2007 under the previous Labour government with aim of providing research and training for financial regulators around the world. It received nearly £3m in government backing and around £1m from various City firms, including all the Big Four accountancy firms, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Barclays.

In November 2012 Zolfo Cooper were appointed as administrators to ICFR following the discovery of a material discrepancy in its accounts. A subsequent administrators' progress report to creditors said that the management accounts put cash at the bank at £594,000, but the firm's bank statements put the figure at around £107,000.

According to the report, Taylor was paid at the ICFR under a consultancy agreement, which stated that he would receive £1,500 per day, up to a maximum of 10 days per month, following the submission of monthly invoices. A former divisional chief executive at insurers RSA, Taylor acted as ICFR's COO from 2009 and was responsible for banking and all financial aspects of the business.

The creditors' report identified issues relating to the submission of invoices and use of a company credit card. Taylor is said to have told the administrators that the discrepancies in the accounts resulted from the figures being estimates only, and that financial records had not been fully maintained 'due to lack of time available for him to do so'.

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