A request to pay a £100,000 salary to the late fundraising hero’s daughter was a key focus of the Charity Commission’s statutory inquiry into the Captain Tom Foundation.
The foundation was established in memory of the late war veteran, who raised £39 million for NHS charities during the pandemic.
He captured the world’s attention and sparked a massive outpouring of donations by walking laps of his Bedfordshire garden on a walking frame during lockdown in the days before his 100th birthday.
The commission opened an investigation into the charity in March 2021, a month after Sir Tom died, and began reviewing the organization’s structure.
However, it now intends to look into payments made by the charity to a company linked to Hannah Ingram-Moore, Captain Sir Tom’s daughter, and her husband’s companies, as part of an investigation into the foundation’s independence from the family.
It has also expressed concerns about intellectual property rights and the ability of a company linked to the couple to trademark names containing the phrase “Captain Tom” without the charity objecting – a move that the watchdog believes may have resulted in “significant profit” for the company.
The Captain Tom Foundation stated that it would “cooperate closely” with investigators, but added that regulators were informed prior to the charity’s formation that intellectual property rights would be held in a “private family trust.”
The commission stated that its investigation had been “escalated” due to “newly identified concerns about arrangements between the charity and a company linked to the Ingram-Moore family, as well as ongoing concerns about the trustees’ decision making and the charity’s governance.”
“The commission is concerned that failing to consider intellectual property and trade mark issues when the charity was established allowed Club Nook Limited, a private company controlled by Hannah Ingram-Moore and [her husband] Colin Ingram-Moore, to trade mark variations of the name ‘Captain Tom’ without objection from the charity.”
The Ingram-Moore family issued a statement saying, “On behalf of our family, there are two points we would like to make.” Prior to the formation of the Captain Tom Foundation (May 5, 2020), Club Nook Ltd applied for various trademarks in April 2020. When the Captain Tom Foundation was founded, neither Hannah nor Colin Ingram-Moore were trustee directors.”