The Sunday Mail reports today that Charity Commission officials are investigating Heather Mills over the distribution of cash from the Lions Charitable Trust which she established in April, 2001 to help victims of the January 2001 earthquake in Gujarat, a province in Western India. The appeal was launched to provide thousands of false limbs for people who were seriously wounded in the earthquake. At the time, Heather stated, "The more limbs we can buy, the more people we can make walk again. People in England can make a real difference by buying a leg. For just pounds 20 they will be able to make a child walk again. Imagine that. If you do nothing else for charity for the rest of your life, what a worthwhile thing to do!"
In March of this year it was discovered that the Lions Charitable Trust is neither a company nor a registered charity. The Commission is also investigating Heather's statement that "every penny donated will be spent on artificial limbs". According to a Charity Commission official, "I can confirm that The Lions Charitable Trust is not registered as a charity. We have been in contact with Heather Mills on several occasions over the past month. Following letters and telephone calls, we are seeking documentation to confirm that funds have been distributed as Heather has indicated."
Heather has told the officials that all the money raised has been passed on to the Trust. Further, she claims that the charity is based in India and is thus not subject to British regulations.
(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)
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