Man who defrauded RAF charity out of £26,000 escapes immediate jail term

A MAN who ‘abused his position’ to defraud a charity for air force veterans has escaped an immediate jail term.

Victor Scuse, 76, of Wigmore Road, Worthing, was treasurer for the Royal Air Force Association in Worthing for around eight years and had control of the financial decision making for the club from 2008.

In 2011 he was challenged by the committee at the charity over losses over the last three to four years but Scuse handed in his resignation.

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Police started investigating and discovered Scuse had been charging the RAFA club for goods and services which they never received at extortionate prices.

He pleaded guilty on February 23 at Chichester Crown Court and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years and ordered to pay RAFA £2,400 compensation.

Detective constable Beccy Hopkins said: “The RAF Association is a charity which provides vital support to ex-servicemen and women and relies upon the generosity and integrity of its members.

“The RAF Association trusted Victor Scuse to carry out his duties as treasurer to the benefit of the charity.

“Scuse abused his position and the trust that had been placed in him. It is to the credit of the current committee who have worked tirelessly to keep the Club going during this difficult time.”

The goods Scuse charged for included an automatic hand dryer (£528), satellite dish repairs (£112.80), repairs to a chiller refrigeration unit (£675.63), a glass dishwasher maintenance contract (£564) and handtowels (£1508.82).

The association did not even have a garden but he charged it for 20 litres of weed killer at a cost of £451.20.

During the period 2008 to 2010 the RAFA club received invoices from Forefront Sales, the company Scuse owned, for a total of £26,120.

Following an investigation, Scuse was arrested in 2012 and charged with fraud by abuse of position between December 2007 and April 2011.