Afghan Heroes: Somerset charity wound down amid inquiry

A charity set up to help former armed forces personnel who have served in Afghanistan is being wound down.

The Charity Commission began an inquiry into possible financial misconduct at Somerset-based Afghan Heroes.

Interim manager Brian Johnson, appointed by the commission, said Afghan Heroes, which has not commented, was "no longer a viable concern".

He said he was "reviewing past and present operations" by the charity following a "number of complaints".

Bank accounts frozen

In a letter to former volunteers, he said he was "in the process of winding down the operations of the charity" and that "no further action should take place in terms of events or other fundraising or support activities".

The Charity Commission started an investigation on 22 November and took legal action to stop the charity's bank accounts being used and any of its property being disposed of.

During the financial year ending on 31 December 2012, the charity received £548,440 in income and spent £516,288.

It spent £474,924 on generating funds in 2012 and £15,153 on charitable activities. A further £26,211 was spent on governance costs.

During that period it employed eight full-time and 16 part-time members of staff at a cost of £190,479.

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who was a patron of the charity, resigned from his position in December when he discovered it was under investigation.

Nobody from Afghan Heroes was available for comment.

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