The charity watchdog has banned a former medal-winning Paralympian footballer from serving as a trustee after an inquiry discovered that a disability sports organisation he created paid £1 million in public funds to companies run by him and his wife.
Matt Dimbylow, 51, a Paralympic World Cup medalist and member of the Great Britain seven-a-side football team, was found guilty of serious misconduct and abusing public trust by the Charity Commission.
According to the commission, £1million of the £6million raised for the charity Dream It Believe It Achieve It (DIBIAI) through a lottery scratchcard system was paid to companies managed by Dimbylow and his wife, Emma Dimbylow.
An additional £4.2 million was spent on fundraising expenses, including payments to a private lottery operator. Only £300,000 was spent on charity objectives.
Charity Commission’s Head of Investigations, Amy Spiller, said:
“The public expects trustees to ensure charitable funds are always carefully managed in the best interests of their charity and the cause they serve, in this case supporting children and disabled people with sport. Instead, the Dimbylows abused the trust that was placed in them as trustees.”
In 2007, when he was only 36, Mr Dimbylow was told he had a variant of Parkinson’s called extrapyramidal syndrome.