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Chair of Prince Charles charity quits amid donor scandal

Chair of Prince Charles  charity quits amid donor scandal
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Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, known as the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay when in Scotland, visit Dumfries House in Ayrshire, Scotland, Thursday Sept. 9, 2021. (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

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LONDON -- The chairman of Prince Charles charitable foundation has resigned after reports the organization was offered a donation of more than 500,000 pounds (C$874,660) from a Russian banker seeking British citizenship.

Douglas Connell stepped down Wednesday after the Sunday Times alleged that Charles wrote a letter to thank the businessman, Dmitry Leus, for the offer last year. The newspaper said Charles suggested that they could meet after the pandemic.

The Scottish Charity Regulator launched an investigation into the matter earlier this week. The report said the charity initially received 100,000 pounds from the Russian, but rejected the total sum after its ethics committee raised concerns about Leus background.

The allegations followed earlier claims, also reported by the Sunday Times, that the charity s chief executive, Michael Fawcett, helped a Saudi donor secure a knighthood and British citizenship after he gave a large donation.

Fawcett, Charles former valet, stepped down from the charity role temporarily and an independent investigation was launched.

Connell said Wednesday that he should accept responsibility "if it appears that serious misconduct may have taken place." The Prince s Foundation said it took the recent allegations seriously and "is committed to the highest ethical standards."
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