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Norwich musical charity hit by con trick given £1500

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 April 2011

Musical Keys hae been given £1,500 by Portal Voice and Data after being victims of a the Business Telecom scam.; Pictured is joint chair Clare Grant., right, with manager Sallie Eastick and assistan manager Ray Long; photo by Adrian Judd

Musical Keys hae been given £1,500 by Portal Voice and Data after being victims of a the Business Telecom scam.; Pictured is joint chair Clare Grant., right, with manager Sallie Eastick and assistan manager Ray Long; photo by Adrian Judd

Archant Norfolk 2011

A donation of more than a thousand pounds has helped repair the financial damage caused to a Norwich charity after it was conned by telephone fraudsters Business Telecom Ltd.

Musical Keys has received £1,500 from Norwich communications supplier Portal Voice and Data to help cope with the financial trouble caused by the con.

Currently, the charity, which supports vulnerable children through music workshops, faces losing £3,000 a year if it cannot break free of the Business Telecom contract, which remains in place despite chairman Christopher Boughton-Fox being found guilty of conspiring to defraud companies last week.

Portal Voice and Data, based at Roundtree Way, Sprowston, said it hoped to donate a further £1,500 later this year, provide free system maintenance and help the charity negotiate its way out of its current contract.

Clare Grant, joint chairperson for the charity, based in Silver Road, said the contribution could not have come at a better time.

She aded: “Like all charities, we are struggling at the moment and this massive contract scandal with Business Telecom was the last thing we needed.

“It was a huge relief when I found out they had been found guilty although I was not surprised. I am just glad that they now cannot do the same thing to someone else. For us, the donation has helped restore a little bit of faith in human nature.”

Small businesses and schools were also targeted by Business Telecom Ltd, which conned them out of hundreds of thousands of pounds over a five-year period.

The company’s sales reps tied them into long-running contracts to secure lucrative commissions. Business Telecom employee Jonathan Parish, 42, of Great Yarmouth, was also found guilty of conspiring to defraud, while another employee, Daniel Cullen, 28, of Hertfordshire, admitted conspiracy to defraud.

Sales manager of Portal Voice and Data, Tracy McKay, said: “We just really felt like this could have been our children that this charity was trying to help. We couldn’t not afford to help everyone, but we felt we had to do something for them.Hopefully this will restore a little faith after so many people have been duped out of their money.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Ben Woods on 01603 772 439 or email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

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