EXCLUSIVE: Will Kids Company trial which starts today explain what happened to taxpayers' millions?
TAXPAYERS could soon find out what happened to millions of pounds of their cash that was paid to the defunct charity Kids Company as a long awaited insolvency trial gets underway later today.
An up to ten-week hearing is set to begin at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday (October 19 2020).
Despite a series of Government bailouts, the London-based charity, which helped vulnerable youngsters, was placed into liquidation in September 2015 with the Official Receiver launching a public interest investigation into what happened to millions of pounds of taxpayers cash.
Key figures in the charity were Camilla Batmanghelidjh, 57, (above left) who became close to former Prime Minister David Cameron and former BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob, 73, (above right) who stepped down from the position in the wake of the scandal.
It is hoped many questions surrounding its accounts will be answered at the end of the lengthy case.
Prior to the liquidation, Kids Company was spending a staggering £23million a year when it had little over £89,000 in the bank. The charity, which closed just a week after taking a £3m Government bailout, spent £15.3m on nearly 500 full-time staff in one year, according to its last publicly filed annual accounts in 2012/13.
That figure is close to double the £7.9million spent on staff just four years earlier in 2009. However, of the huge staff bill in 2013, just £1.7million was spent paying frontline support workers who helped the troubled children that the charity supported. The staffing bill was almost two-thirds of the total £23m the charity received in grants and donations that year.
LOVE BOMB: Cameron was said to be in awe of Batmanghelidjh and ignored audit warnings (GETTY)
Kids Company was paid a whopping £44.7million by Whitehall and local governments since 2002. Its list of major donors read like a who's who of British high society with Coldplay, Michael Mcintyre, John Freida, Damien Hirst, Matthew Freud, Rowan Atkinson, JK Rowling and German billionaire Christoph Henkel among a long list of well-known individuals and businesses. Kids Company was accused of financial mismanagement by a Government audit before the £3m bailout. Prime Minister David Cameron faced tough questions after then senior Conservative ministers Oliver Letwin and Matthew Hancock snubbed advice from civil servants not to agree to the bailout because of the earlier audit. The Cabinet was warned the further cash injection would "not be value for money" for taxpayers and the charity had not honoured commitments made in April, when it received a previous £4.85m sum. The Government was also advised Kids Company would be "unlikely" to meet a restructure plan. The trial was opened last Monday, but immediately adjourned so that Judge Mrs Justice Falk could spend the week reading through the vast amount of documents and statements involved in the case.