Charity bosses blagged £547k by using fake Army veterans in camouflage trousers to tap commuters for cash


CHARITY bosses blagged at least £547,000 by using fake Army veterans to tap commuters for cash.

Collectors in camouflage trousers and Save our Soldiers shirts conned people at railway stations into thinking they were giving to disabled troops.

London’s Wood Green crown court heard Dove Promotions broke rules permitting it to only run draws and offer merchandise, like wristbands.

The Royal British Legion said linked firm Open Doors created a false impression of collecting for veterans.

A commuter raised the alarm and investigators later found Dove had deposited £547,000 into accounts.

The true sum may never be known.

David Papagavriel, 57, Terence Kelly, 73, both of Essex, plus Ian Ellis, 58 and Peter Ellis, 30, of Lancs, admitted fraud and face jail when sentenced.

Papagavriel and retired truck driver Kelly were trustees of an Essex-based charity named Open Doors,.

It began as a charity shop in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, in 1991, raising funds to buy equipment and goods for local good causes.

In 2013, the charity entered into a fundraising contract with Dove Promotions, run by Peter Ellis, 30 and his dad Ian Ellis, 58, the court heard.

Dove Promotions claimed to sell raffle tickets and merchandise in aid of ‘disabled military personnel’ charity Open Doors.

According to the contract, Open Doors was allowed to collect money “by way of skilled prize draw tickets, wristbands, and any other promotional merchandise.”

But the Royal British Legion issued a statement in 2015 disassociating itself from Dove and Open Doors, and saying they had created a false impression they were collecting for military charities.

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