Kerr to argue he was ‘reprofiling funding’

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The trial has begun this morning of Eddie Kerr, the former Project Co-ordinator at SEEDS - who is facing 15 charges of forgery and fraud in relation to funding applications for the charity.

A jury at Derry Crown Court heard this morning that the 60 year old of Ashfield Terrace that Kerr, who denies all charges, told police: “If I am culpable of anything it is of reprofiling money without permission and poor administration practices.”

Kerr faces 15 charges related to different funding applications submitted between February 2009 and March 2011.

He is charged with forging the signature of the charity’s chairman on funding applications to the North West Peace III Cluster, Derry City Council and the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

He is further charged with not declaring to funding bodies that he had received funding from other sources. The court was told that evidence will show Kerr put in funding applications for salaries for the positions of both Project Co-Ordinator and Director in his name - while knowing that he currently held the position of Project Co-ordinator, accepted to be a full time role.

Counsel for the prosecution told the jury that these actions resulted in Kerr claiming two salaries.

Kerr is also charged with making an application for the reimbursement of rent from the Minority Ethnic Development Fund having already submitted the same invoice to Derry City Council for payment.

Counsel for the prosecution told the jury Kerr was not trying to argue that he did not make the applications but denied that he had acted dishonestly.

He said the defendant claimed to have dispersed any additional funding within the charity and said he had not benefited directly from it. He said Kerr would argue that he had forged the chairman’s signature but had done so with his permission.

The trial continues.