THE finance chief of a charity which helps ex-Armed Forces personnel find work when they return to civilian life has appeared in court accused of fraudulently claiming more than £43,000 in expenses.
Omar Binbasilir, 55, of Blenheim Square, North Weald, is accused of using his position as the financial controller of Armed Forces charity The Regular Forces Employment Association to siphon off the cash.
He is alleged to have made £43,453 from a fraud dating back to September 2009.
Dressed in a brown suit, Binbasilir spoke only to confirm his name during a brief hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Founded in 1885, the Regular Forces Employment Association helps to get former troops back into work through training and advice.
At Friday's hearing, District Judge Michael Snow granted Binbasilier unconditional bail, before adjourning proceedings until a committal hearing.
The judge said: "Because of the size of this fraud it falls out of my jurisdiction and I have to send it to the crown court, before a judge and jury.
"You will have to, however, attend this court on a committal date, and if you fail to attend that is a separate offence."
Binbasilir has not yet entered pleas to charges of fraud by abuse of position and false accounting.
He will appear at a committal hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court on October 26.
The Regular Forces Employment Association has 24 branches throughout the UK, including one in Colchester, one in Norwich and one in London.
The charity's raison d'être is to help men and women of all ranks leaving the Armed Forces to find and to remain in employment throughout their working lives.
Its services are available to those who have spent at least one day in the Army, Navy or RAF.