Neil Payne stole more than £200,000 from the disabled charity he worked for
Neil Payne, 51, was warned by the judge that he faces a long jail term after he almost crippled the 31-year-old organisation he worked for.
Despicable Payne admitted stealing from north Suffolk-based Lowestoft and Waveney DIAL between 2010 and January this year.
He was only caught when staff wages were not paid in the New Year.
The trusted senior official stole £212.639.52 from the popular charity, which provides advice and information to disabled people.
Payne, of Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, was remanded in custody when he appeared at Ipswich Crown Court this week ahead of his sentencing next month.
Judge Rupert Overbury told Payne that a lengthy prison sentence was “inevitable.”
He added: “The length will depend on arguments I hear."
Last night shattered DIAL charity service manager David Savill said the devastating crime almost forced them to shut down.
We are finding just enough funds to keep going
Mr Savill said they'd been able to continue operating by the skin of their teeth but had to cut back outreach services.
He said: “There was a risk it could have closed, but the trustees and employees decided very early on that we wanted to keep going it going.
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“We are finding just enough funds to keep going.
“But in the coming months the charities commission will require us to build up our reserves.”
Despicable Payne admitted stealing from north Suffolk-based Lowestoft and Waveney DIAL
Mr Savill said big-hearted local organisations had rallied round to keep them afloat after they'd put out a desperate SoS for help.
But he warned they still have less than half of the £120,000 they need to operate every year.
The much-loved charity has supported more than 200,000 people throughout the region since 1986.
Mr Savill said: “Last year we assisted people to get access to more than £1.9m.
“If the charity was not here a lot of people would not have access to the assistance they are entitled to.”
He said shocked staff realised something was seriously wrong in the New Year when they were not paid.
Worried top officials carried out an urgent investigation and called in police after discovering that Payne had stripped their funds.