Oxfam ex-fraud chief jailed for scamming charity

image copyrightcity of london police
image captionEdward McKenzie-Green had a "serious addiction to prescription medication", the court was told

A former head of Oxfam's counter-fraud unit has been jailed for defrauding the charity out of nearly £65,000.

Edward McKenzie-Green, 34, of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was handed two years and five months imprisonment for making payments to fictitious firms.

He initially denied the charge but changed his plea to guilty in March.

A charge against his father, Edward Green, 61, of Cumbernauld, Glasgow, who had been accused of helping him launder more than £35,000, was dropped.

The Old Bailey heard McKenzie-Green had made £64,612.58 in payments from Oxfam to fictitious firms between February and December 2011.

He had also been accused of stealing a laptop from the charity in December 2011 but the charge was dropped.

Prosecutor Adam King said the "carefully planned" scam involved submitting false invoices to companies McKenzie-Green had set up.

In mitigation, Matthew Sherratt said McKenzie-Green had a "serious addiction to prescription medication" up until January last year and his marriage was failing.

'Frittered away'

These factors, combined with a high-pressure job, meant he "effectively suffered a breakdown", he added.

Oxfam described McKenzie-Green as a "rogue employee" and said it would try and recover the money taken.

Oliver May, the charity's head of counter fraud, said: "Oxfam uses donations from the British people to help eradicate poverty and suffering across the world. For someone to commit fraud and use that money for their own selfish gains is clearly unacceptable.

"Since this incident we have reinforced our strict background checks on future employees and introduced measures to prevent this from being able to happen again."

Det Con Joseph Hines, of City of London Police, said McKenzie-Green "frittered away" the money he stole.

"What makes his crime even worse is that the money he took and spent had been donated to help people in need. The loss of his job and his liberty reflect the depths to which he sank in pursuit of his own personal pleasure," he said.

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