STATEMENT FROM MYELOMA PATIENTS EUROPE
on the court case it has taken against its
former treasurer Ms Begoña Barragán
Brussels, Belgium – Friday May 20th 2016
Myeloma Patients Europe (MPE) believes it has been defrauded by its former Treasurer Ms Begoña Barragán who, between 2013 and 2014, carried out four unauthorised transfers of money from MPE’s bank account to the Spanish organisations AEAL and Fundaseth, which were under her control and responsibility. In total Ms Barragán transferred eighty-three thousand, seven hundred and fifty EURO (€83,750) into AEAL’s and Fundaseth’s accounts. In addition, Ms Barragán withheld information and documentation about MPE’s financial accounts from the Board, which is the reason why the Board did not discover these disputed financial transactions until after her mandate as MPE treasurer had ended.
MPE is taking legal action and has submitted the case against Ms Barragán to the court to recuperate the funds it believes were misused by her, and which were intended to fund MPE’s work in advocating for improvements in the treatment and care of people affected by myeloma in Europe. MPE is also seeking to retrieve all the missing financial documents dating from Ms Barragán’s tenure as MPE treasurer so that it can complete a full retrospective audit covering all the years since its establishment.
Since this matter first came to light in mid-2014, MPE has made concerted efforts to retrieve the missing funds and documentation without resorting to legal action. The organisation repeatedly asked Ms Barragán and AEAL to provide evidence in support of the transfers of such a large amount of money. However, the requests were ignored and both Ms Barragán and the AEAL Board did not cooperate with MPE’s efforts to discuss the situation and find a solution. In addition, Ms Barragán and AEAL did not provide MPE with any evidence to refute the allegations of fraudulent behaviour. In the light of this the MPE Board was left with little choice but to take Ms Barragán to court. The Board has also suspended AEAL’s membership rights until further notice.
MPE has made significant efforts to address weaknesses in its governance policies to ensure that something like this will never happen again. Its financial policies have been revised and strengthened and a more stringent approach to approving financial transactions is now in place. In addition, the MPE Board has drafted a number of amendments to the statutes which will prevent misuse of MPE’s funds in the future. These amendments will be voted on by members later this year.
Myeloma Patients Europe
Avenue Louise 149/24
MPE is a network of 36 myeloma patient organisations from across Europe. It supports national patient organisations to fight for improvements in treatment and access to optimal care for myeloma patients in their countries and helps
inform and raise awareness about myeloma patients’ needs and realities at a