The Illawarra’s House of Hope Recovery Centre has lost its charity status following an investigation into its activities and operations.
The organisation, also known as the Illawarra Food Hub, The Hope Centre and Hope Centre Foodbarn, had its status revoked by the the national charity regulator, the Australian Charities and not-for-profits Commission, on Friday.
The revocation means the organisation can no longer access Commonwealth charity tax concessions.
The charity regulator did not detail why the status was revoked however, in December 2016, former House of Hope manager Lizzie Millar was charged with fraud after an internal investigation revealed anomalies in the charity's financial statements.
During the following court case she admitted to fleecing tens of thousands of dollars from the Warrawong-based charity. She initially maintained her innocence, even when a second set of charges was laid against her in September 2017, but later entered a guilty plea.
The revocation removes the organisation’s Commonwealth charity tax concessions including deductible gift recipient status, income tax exemption, fringe benefits tax rebates and goods and services tax concessions.
ACNC commissioner Dr Gary Johns, said revocation of charity status was reserved for the most serious of cases.
House of Hope was registered with the purpose of advancing religion and as a Public Benevolent Institution.