A Birmingham finance manager has been accused of syphoning off more than #1 million of public money destined for city care homes.
John Musisi Kaduwanema, a finance manager for social care and health finance at Birmingham City Council, has been charged with ten counts of dishonestly obtaining money transfers by deception between May 2005 and February 2006.
Kaduwanema (27), from Stag Drive, Huntington, Cannock, Staffordshire, has been accused of re-directing #1,033,595.30 of funds due to be paid to elderly people's homes. The Crown Prosecution Service is to put in an application under the Proceeds of Crime Act for the money to be seized and returned to the local authority.
The case came to light when Barclays Bank contacted the city council and raised questions about a transaction of council cash. The local authority investigated the query and ordered an investigation of finances in the social services department. The inquiry uncovered money was missing and officers contacted West Midlands Police.
Kaduwanema was arrested at his home in Cannock earlier this month and appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on March 10 to face the ten charges.
He is currently on remand at Winson Green Prison and is due to be committed at Birmingham Magistrates Court next month for trial.
He is charged with transferring #552,901 between May and June last year; #37,897 in July 2005; #163,021 last August; #47,853.83 in November; #285,000 between January 15 and February 15, and a further #50,000 in February. It is believed Mr Kaduwanema worked as a finance manager for the city council for about two years.
The social services department, which had been seen as failing for so long by inspectors, was last year awarded a one star rating for showing signs of improvement.
The Commission for Social Care Inspection said Birmingham was providing social services reasonably competently. The department had struggled with a #20 million deficit in 2004 but was given a boost in 2005, when Health Minister Liam Byrne awarded it #34.7 million to spend on four centres for older people.
A spokeswoman for Birmingham City Council said: "As soon as the irregularities with the council's VAT accounts were brought to our attention, we launched an immediate investigation and informed the police."