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November 02, 2015

Audit: U.K. Gave Now-Shuttered Youth Charity $70 Million

A British government audit found that Kids Company, a high-profile charity for at-risk urban youth that ran out of money and collapsed in August, received nearly $71 million in taxpayer funds despite repeated warning signs about its management and spending, BBC News reports.

The National Audit Office found a "consistent pattern" of the organization getting funding, despite civil servants' concerns about it, by telling top government officials it would close otherwise. Prime Minister David Cameron had held the organization up as an exemplar of his Big Society initiative to shift a greater share of social-service provision to charities and other private entities.

Two government ministers signed off on a $4.6-million grant in late July, only days after the cabinet received an internal review by the charity that found incomplete financial records and unusual spending practices, including payments of tens of thousands of pounds to individual clients and employees' relatives, the BBC and BuzzFeed also report.