South East Wales

Newport music charity founders fraud charges

Four people have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud over the running of a Newport-based music charity for young people.

It is understood those include the co-founders of 'Life Music Foundation'.

Daniel O'Connell, 38, from Newport and Clayton Richards, 37, from Cwmbran, will appear at Newport Magistrates Court later this month.

Two others have also been charged, Nikki O'Connell, 35, and Gareth Williams, 33, from Bridgend.

The charges follow a Gwent Police investigation that has lasted for several months.

Registered charity

On its website, Life Music Foundation describes itself as a registered charity which aims to "develop the music skills of primarily young disadvantaged people".

It says it provides opportunities for young people to record in studios and organises specialist music lessons.

It is understood Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas had at one time agreed to act as one of the patrons of the charity.

He attended a fundraising dinner but has never been a trustee. There is no suggestion that Gareth Thomas had any awareness of any alleged wrongdoing.

A spokesperson for the Charity Commission said Life Music Foundation remains on the register of charities.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites