Ex-charity boss stripped of MBE after swindling more than £250k from pension scheme

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·2 min read
Patrick McLarry, 71, leaving Salisbury Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the pension scheme of the Yateley Industries for the Disabled, the charity he ran, of ??250,000.
Patrick McLarry leaves Salisbury Crown Court in February 2020 after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the pension scheme of the Yateley Industries for the Disabled. (PA)

A former charity boss, who was jailed for five years over swindling more than £250,000 from its pension scheme to pay for his lavish lifestyle, has been stripped of his MBE.

Patrick McLarry, 72, the former CEO and chairman of Yateley Industries for the Disabled – a charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable adults – admitted defrauding cash from the organisation last year.

McLarry, from Bere Alston in Devon, spent the money on a home and warehouse in the south of France, as well as on a house in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

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He also used it to repay a debt he owed over the purchase of a lease for the Old Mary Rose pub in Portsmouth and to invest in an antiques business owned by his wife.

He was sentenced to five years in prison in February last year and was disqualified from being a company director for eight years.

In September, Salisbury Crown Court ruled that McLarry must pay back £286,852 to the pension scheme, a sum adjusted to account for inflation, to compensate for what he stole.

Patrick McLarry, 71, leaving Salisbury Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to defrauding the pension scheme of the Yateley Industries for the Disabled, the charity he ran, of ??250,000. His wife, Sandra McLarry (left), 59, was charged with four counts of money-laundering but the prosecutor said they would not proceed on these charges and offered no evidence.
McLarry and his wife Sandra McLarry, who was charged with four counts of money-laundering but the prosecutor said they would not proceed on these charges and offered no evidence. (PA)

In a statement this week, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) said McLarry had been stripped of his MBE after it gave evidence to the Honours Committee.

Nicola Parish, TPR’s executive director of frontline regulation, said: “Today’s report is a lesson to all would-be pension fraudsters.

“TPR is at the ready to use our powers to bring criminals like Patrick McLarry to justice and, where possible, return scheme members’ stolen savings. TPR, working with colleagues from other regulators and law enforcement agencies, will pursue criminals who exploit others’ hard-earned savings for their personal gain.”

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Speaking in September, Erica Carroll, TPR's director of enforcement, said: "McLarry abused his position to steal money from the scheme's members, money which was supposed to help pay for their retirement. Instead, he spent the money on himself.

"He received a lengthy jail sentence for his crime and quite rightly he must now return the money he stole back to the pension scheme for the benefit of its members.

"If he fails to hand over the cash, he will have to serve an extra three years in jail and still have to pay up."

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