I'm 26, female, living at home with my parents for now (boyfriend left me to get a job abroad, said the relationship was effectively over), and over the past few months my dad was fundraising £40,000 for kids with Down's Syndrome.
I was pleased when he told me he wanted to do something helpful. Dad had always wanted to raise money for charity, but never had the time until a few years ago, when he started volunteering to teach art to kids with Down's Syndrome (2 days a week).
He raised £60,000 in total since March.
However, last night, he told me that he'd got something important to say; he confessed to pocketing the cash, spending £13,000 on a dating agency for his sister (my aunt), £5,000 on an old Mercedes car, £3,000 on a beat-up old Transit van, and £1,500 on a classic guitar from an online auction. That means there's only £37,500 left of the £60,000 he's got. It was a little-known fact my aunt wanted to join a dating agency, except to my dad and her. BTW, this dating agency is based in London and normally caters to super-rich people, but has no income-requirement.
He expects me to spend some of the cash, said "Go get that £20k Mercedes SL you saw on Autotrader that's your dream car, you can afford it now, it's gonna be so good when I see my daughter owning a classic 2000s Merc for not much money."
Don't get me wrong - dad's obsessed with Mercedes, owns things with their badging on. It's true, I liked that car, but I'd probably buy it out of my own money.
FWIW, we're middle-class; a white middle-class family (well, half-Indian, half-English, to be exact; i look less "Indian", more white, think Charli XCX the pop star if you've no idea).
I feel outraged, but didn't tell him at the time.
My mum knows, and is so angry she does not know what to do.
I did ask him at the time why he did it, he claimed "I only raised the money to look good and get in the local newspapers".
I'm not looking for legal advice, more moral advice, since my dad's fundraising seems to have been solely for making money for himself.
I'm struggling to understand why he would do this; previously he'd been very much a good person, never done anything criminal etc. but I'm worried about the consequences. I do love my dad, but am worried about what the repercussions will be when this is revealed.
It's not a case of IF this will be revealed, but WHEN people will find out.
I work in a public-facing job (ironically enough, for a non-profit organization) and have a public profile on said charity's page (local charity, not a national one) but I don't handle this kind of thing; I only do marketing, not public relations, not marketing and PR.
My basic question is; how do I handle the fact my dad raised money for charity and pocketed part of the cash? Is he a scam artist/con artist?