- The City of London Police are currently investigating a 3.9 million pound fraud allegation alleged at a UK branch of Kingsway International Christian Center (KICC).
- This follows a similar investigation by the UK Charity Commission on the church in 2005 when it was the Kings Ministries Trust.
London Police are currently Investigating the church founded by Matthew Ashimolowo for a fraud allegation involving a Premier League footballer who lost 3.9 million pounds on what turned out to be a horrendous investment scheme.
According to a report by the UK Charity Commission - the government body in charge of regulating charities in the United Kingdom - there had been "mismanagement" at the Kingsway International Christian Church (KICC) when they invested and lost around 5 million pounds with former Charlton Athletics player, Richard Rufus.
The report stated that the church's trustees “did not exercise sufficient care” when they gave he money to Mr. Rufus.
Richard Rufus, who was a leading member of the church, was found to be a fraudster by a specialist civil court judge following an 8 million pound loss to investors in 2015.
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He also operated a 16 million pound ponzi scheme involving over 100 investors.
According to bankruptcy registrar, Clive Jones, Richard Rufus recieved 16 million pounds between 2007 and 2011 without authorization, funds which included monies from family and fellow church members of KICC.
KICC, on the other hand, through the church's Chief Operating Officer, Mr. James McGlashan, told The Guardian that Pastor Ashimolowo knew of the investment with Richard Rufus, but that he had no influence in the decision making process of the investments.
“(The trustees’) actions were totally independent and were not influenced in any way by Pastor Ashimolowo,” said Dipo Oluyomi, KICC chief executive in a statement.
Mr. Ashimolowo's church - which owns a mega cathedral in Accra - was investigated in 2005 when the church was still named King's Ministries Trust. The regulator ordered Mr. Ashimolowo to repay 200,000 pounds after details surfaced that he used church funds (over 210,000 pounds) to fund a lavish birthday party and a timeshare in Florida.
Due to his gross financial mismanagement of church funds Mr. Ashimolowo was removed from his role as chief executive of the church and new trustees was also brought on-board.
In response to the investigations, KICC said trustees "acted in good faith and had no reason to suspect that the investment on behalf of the charity would go wrong” and that “Pastor Ashimolowo is not one of the trustees was not part of the decision to make the investment that went wrong and that neither the church or its trustees have been accused of or investigated by the UK authorities for wrongdoing.”