The Prince of Wales is facing criticism after a report claimed his charity received a staggering six-figure amount from Russian businessman Dimitry Leus. The gift was made in May last year and the future monarch said he was “incredibly grateful” for his “immense generosity”, The Sunday Times alleges.
The newspaper alleges Charles proposed the two should meet after lockdown said: “I very much look forward to seeing you.”
However, the money returned months later after the charity’s ethics committee raised concerns about Mr Leus’ background, it is claimed.
In a separate case, Mr Leus had been found guilty in Russia of money-laundering before his conviction was overturned.
The Sunday Times claims to have uncovered evidence of possible deception involving Mr Leus’ donations, which allegedly totalled a staggering £535,000.
Prince Charles offered to meet Russian businessman after £535k donation
However, there is no evidence to prove Charles was aware of any deception.
Despite the money being rejected by the Prince’s Foundation, it had instead gone to another charity of which Charles is patron, Children and the Arts, they say.
The Prince’s Foundation presented the donations as an internal matter.
A spokesman said: “It would be inappropriate and unhelpful to comment further until the investigation has been concluded.”
Clarence House, in response to the report, said: “The Prince of Wales fully supports the investigation now under way at the foundation.”
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, where the charity is based, added: “We have written to the trustees informing them that we will investigate these matters under the powers set out in section 28 of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.”
A representative of Mr Leus said he had “made a donation to the Prince’s Trust in good faith” and “did not know of, or consent to, his donations going elsewhere”.
He added: “Mr Leus appointed a legal team to investigate and he does not rule out any course of action relating to this very serious matter.”
The Prince’s Trust said: “The trust has never taken any money from Dmitry Leus. Our ethics committee turned it down and this decision was ratified by our trustees on August 9, 2021.
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Source: EXPRESS CO UK