Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fight on to Sell Charity Crook's Pounds 90,000 Home

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Fight on to Sell Charity Crook's Pounds 90,000 Home

Article excerpt

Byline: By Brenda Hickman

It's an ordinary former council house but it is the coveted property of children's charity crook Maureen Lewis.

Now lawyers have stepped up the battle to get the pounds 90,000 home sold so they can claw back some of the hundreds of thousands of pounds demanded from Lewis as a former trustee of the Dream Foundation charity.

The house at Pennine Avenue, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, was bought by Lewis with some of the cash left over from the sale of the former pounds 400,000 home she shared with her fiance and co-accused Joseph Mulcahy.

Their former love-nest at North Lodge, Chester-le-Street, was repossessed and sold off to pay back the bank.

But the deadline for Lewis to hand over the cash to the Dream Foundation official receiver solicitor came and went on December 23 last year.

The order to force the sale of Lewis's house followed civil proceedings in Birmingham.

Meanwhile, a separate action is underway by Northumbria police lawyers to pursue a pounds 84,000 confiscation order made by judge Guy Whitburn under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Nick Carter, partner at Anthony Collins Solicitors, based in Birmingham, acting as receivers for the Dream Foundation, said Lewis as a trustee, was liable for the full amount.

"The house could possibly become a sought-after asset in both the civil action and the criminal confiscation," he said.

"We are pursuing the order made against Maureen Lewis in the civil courts."

In July the criminal case Judge Guy Whitburn gave Lewis 12 months to pay up, saying if she "wilfully refused" to pay the confiscation order, a six month jail term would be imposed.

The Chronicle exposed the Dream Foundation scam which led to three founders being jailed for their part in the massive rip-off.

Hundreds of terminally ill youngsters and their families in the North East had their hopes for fulfilling their last wishes shattered by charity fraudsters. …

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