Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Man admits £440,000 Wessex Heartbeat charity theft

Ronald Chigunwe
Image caption Ronald Chigunwe pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud and money laundering

A former financial controller has admitted stealing more than £440,000 from a hospital charity.

Ronald Chigunwe worked for Wessex Heartbeat, which supports the cardiac centre at Southampton General Hospital.

The 40-year-old, of Breadels Field, Basingstoke, pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud and money laundering.

However, he denied four other charges of money laundering. The Crown Prosecution Service will now decide whether he should face trial.

A decision is due within the next 14 days.

Image caption Wessex Heartbeat supports the cardiac centre at Southampton General Hospital

The fraud was uncovered when a new chief executive took over at the charity and became suspicious after asking Chigunwe for financial information.

The chief executive's wife - an accounts expert - was asked to look at the records and discovered the fraud.

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