Paul Kelly, former vice president of corporate affairs at Asda has admitted to stealing the retailer's charity funds. He pleaded guilty to seven charges of fraud at a Leeds Crown Court for offences that were committed between July 2013 and May 2014.
He could be jailed for stealing funds of £180,000 ($263,350, €243,400) that were reserved for flood victims by the supermarket retailer. Kelly was accused of illicitly directing the money to his partner's firm and despite purporting to the Asda Foundation "that monies were to be used for assisting flood victims," it was actually earmarked to be paid to Murley Dance Company.
Out of the seven charges, three relate to Kelly acting "dishonestly and intending to make a gain for himself or another" by making a false representation to the Asda Foundation to ensure that the money was wrongly directed to David Murley's dance school.
The remaining four charges relate to Kelly wrongly representing the dance company as a charitable organisation whose objectives coincided with those of the Asda Foundation. The former vice president's role also spanned media and government relations. He worked with Asda for seven years before leaving in September 2014 after an internal investigation.
Kelly has held high profile roles, including a position as a government adviser on food policy, alcohol and obesity and ambassador for Prince Charles's Business in the Community charity. His sentencing has been scheduled for 16 February as the case was adjourned for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports.
Asda has said that none of the causes it supports will be hurt financially because of the scandal.