"Penny Appeal is unable to comment at this stage"
Potential “financial concerns” have been raised at Wakefield charity Penny Appeal which has prompted the Charity Commission to look into it.
This comes after a senior figure at the charity attempted a “coup” while the organisation’s founder had travelled to Pakistan with former Dragons’ Den star James Caan and actress Mehwish Hayat.
The government department announced that charity trustees had submitted a “serious incident report”.
It is the legal obligation of trustees to report serious incidents to the Charity Commission under the Charities Act.
Penny Appeal has celebrity endorsement from the likes of Mehwish and boxer Amir Khan. It also has partnerships with the Department for Education.
In August 2019, Mehwish was appointed ambassador of the charity. She also revealed that she would be running the 2020 London Marathon to raise money for the charity’s international education campaign.
Entrepreneur Adeem Younis was in Pakistan in September 2019 with Caan and Mehwish for the “launch” for various projects.
It was discovered that at least two senior executives of the charity have argued with each other over finances, spending, and the contracts signed involving celebrities.
According to a source from the charity, one executive fired another while he was returning from Pakistan.
The source went on to say that not only were the locks inside the charity’s headquarters were changed but expensive items were taken away by one executive.
When Mr Younis landed at Heathrow Airport, he found out that he had been suspended from his role in an unconstitutional manner.
Reportedly, CEO Aamer Naeem did not deny Mr Younis’s suspension.
A Charity Commission spokesperson said:
“We are currently assessing this information and have contacted the trustees for further information. While this is ongoing, we are unable to comment further.”
It was rumoured that the Penny Appeal headquarters were raided but a spokesperson dismissed the reports, saying:
“Penny Appeal is unable to comment at this stage as regards a self-referral made to the Charity Commission.
“An internal investigation has yet to report to the board of trustees, and any comment at this stage will prejudice the inquiry.
“At this stage, the board can confirm there is no significant risk to existing operations.”
“We have been made aware that messages are circulating on social media stating that Penny Appeal have been the subject of regulatory action including a raid on our offices.
“The allegations are untrue. Penny Appeal continues to operate as usual and is not the subject of regulatory intervention nor has there been a raid at our offices.”
Adeem Younis set up the charity in 2009 and it claims to help in providing water, food and medical supplies to countries across the world.
In an interview, Mr Younis announced that a hospital would be built near Rawalpindi for the needy and blind, however, construction has not yet begun.
Penny Appeal has a major presence on many media platforms.
Mr Younis also founded the successful dating site SingleMuslim.com, transforming him into one of Britain’s most prominent individuals.
Penny Appeal has a multi-million-pound turnover every year and employs hundreds of staff.
Reportable incidents include protecting people and safeguarding incidents, financial crimes and significant data breaches.
Penny Appeal’s income for the financial year ending April 2018 was £24.6 million. Seventy-five per cent of it was spent on charitable activities.