Association president fined for misusing donated money
8 June 2018
A Darra woman was fined $7000 by the Beenleigh Magistrates Court today (8 June 2018) following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
Kylie Nicholls, Acting President of incorporated association Furkids Animal Rescue Inc (Furkids) was found guilty of two counts of breaching the Collections Act 1966 by converting money from the Furkids bank account for her own use.
A conviction was recorded in relation to both offences against Ms Nicholls, who did not appear in court.
The court heard Furkids is an incorporated association with an objective to reduce the number of animals euthanised in pounds by rehabilitating, retraining and re-homing animals.
The OFT began investigating after Furkids failed to lodge its financial documents as required under the Associations Incorporation Act 1981. Further enquiries revealed Ms Nicholls had misappropriated money from the Furkids bank account in March and June 2017 to pay two personal electricity bills.
In sentencing, the court considered Ms Nicholl’s dishonest conduct a serious breach and said a substantial penalty was required to send a strong message to the community.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said incorporated associations must comply with their legislative obligations, especially proper use of money held in association bank accounts.
“Legislation relating to community associations exists so Queenslanders can have confidence donated money will be used properly,” Mr Bauer said.
“People donate with a benevolent sense of duty and this type of illegal activity can impact on our support through donations and trust in charities generally.
“Before donating to a community organisation, Queenslanders are encouraged to make sure it is appropriately registered which they can check for free on the OFT website.”
Further details on incorporated associations in Queensland, including an online search tool is available online at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).