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Regulator says up to 40 Irish charities could be owed €70k by company in liquidation

The High Court heard on Friday that up to €3.8 million could be owed to charities by Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services.

Image: Shutterstock/Stuart Miles

UP TO 40 Irish charities are owed an estimated €70,000 by Pembroke Dynamic Internet Services which has gone into liquidation, the Charities Regulator has said.

The regulator said it had reached this conclusion after examining a list of charities provided by the liquidator of the company.

During the week, the High Court heard that 700 charitable organisations have been contacted as part an investigation into the Dublin-based online donation platform.

The court also heard that Peter Conlon, the managing director of Pembroke Dynamic, has been detained by prosecutors in Zurich, Switzerland since before Christmas following a complaint from the Red Cross about not getting monies donated via a platform managed by the businessman.

The Charities Regulator has said that it is now contacting the up to 40 charities it has identified to confirm the numbers and amounts involved.

Its CEO John Farrelly said: “We have taken a prudent approach and have potentially identified around 40 Irish-registered charities in the listing.

Their cumulative outstanding balances total around €70,000. However, we believe the actual number of Irish-registered charities affected will be lower than the 40.

In the High Court on Friday, barrister Rossa Fanning said that charities were contacted by his client, liquidator Myles Kirby, as part of his attempts to locate an estimated €3.8 million which was donated to but never received by various charities.

Those funds had been contributed via a service provided by Pembroke Dynamic. Kirby has secured freezing orders against Conlon from the High Court.

Fanning said that since the matter was last before the court there was “no good news” arising out of Kirby’s further investigations of Pembroke Dynamic’s affairs.

Pembroke Dynamic was wound up last month arising out of its failure to satisfy a debt owed to Revenue of approximately €400,000.

Shortly afterwards, Kirby secured freezing orders against Conlon after the liquidator discovered various charities have not received some €3.8 million donated to them via the platform.

Conlon’s company was contracted to collect the donations and pass them on to the charities minus a 5% commission.

The charities affected include UN refugee agency UNHCR, the Red Cross, and Save the Children UK.

Charities Regulator CEO Farrelly added: “We are publishing details of our inquiries to date to provide some clarity to the Irish public about the scale of the impact which the issues at Pembroke Dynamic is having on registered Irish charities.

We would like to remind registered Irish charities of their obligation under section 59 of the Charities Act 2009 to notify the Charities Regulator in writing if they have reasonable grounds for believing that an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 has been, or is being, committed.

With reporting from Aodhan O’Faolain

Read: Charities are hunting for €3.8m missing after the collapse of a detained Irish man’s firm

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Sean Murray

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