ARHAG under scrutiny after fraud inspectors called in
Legal and fraud experts have been sent in to ARHAG Housing Association to conduct an investigation into its affairs.
The Housing Corporation announced on Wednesday that it had launched a statutory inquiry into 'a number of aspects of the business of the association'.
Solicitor Nicholas Bohm and Andrew Durant, a member of the fraud investigations team at BDO Stoy Hayward, have been appointed to conduct the inquiry, which could lead to the landlord being forced to transfer its assets to another association.
A statement from the BME association said the corporation had launched an investigation after a series of allegations were made against it.
Chief executive Ronnie Moodley told Inside Housing these included the allegation that the association had falsified documents.
It has been in a long-running dispute with the Audit Commission over the outcome of its inspection, which took place in May. Mr Moodley said negotiations over the draft inspection with the commission had included 'discussion about falsified documents'.
'We have showed them what are the facts and been accused for something else,' he claimed.
The corporation sent in five specialists shortly after a meeting on Wednesday between the corporation chief executive and members of ARHAG's board, Mr Moodley said.
The announcement of the inquiry came after numerous senior housing figures received a leaflet showing tenants protesting at ARHAG's offices earlier this month.
The mail-out also contained a copy of an ARHAG newsletter sent out earlier this year that showed a picture of Mr Moodley and Bob Geldof with the caption 'Bob Geldof & Ronnie Moodley @ Africa Exposure Summit 2003'. The leaflet claimed the picture was doctored.
Mr Moodley admitted the picture was put together on a computer but said it was done by tenants when he was out of the country, although he said he had met Bob Geldof at 'many places and functions'.