Dan Houston, ex-boss of disgraced Scotia Aid, dumped from new charity role

Former Scotia Aid chief Dan Houston (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Former Scotia Aid chief Dan Houston (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

THE FORMER boss of disgraced charity Scotia Aid has managed to get himself involved with another good cause, The Sunday Post can reveal.

Dan Houston, the founder and former chairman of Scotia Aid Sierra Leone, had been working in an “advisory capacity” at a charity which helps the families of people who die abroad.

But the organisation has now decided to cut ties with Mr Houston following a Sunday Post investigation.

We revealed last week how two of his fellow bosses at Scotia Aid had been banned for life from being charity trustees.

The move followed our investigation into the conduct of the Lanarkshire-based aid body, which gave just 13p in every pound it raised to the African children it was set up to help.

But Houston – who has a host of failed businesses to his name and once owed more than £200,000 to the taxman – escaped censure by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) because he quit as a Scotia Aid trustee before the watchdog took action.

The loophole meant he was free to continue working with other Scottish charities.

And we can now reveal that he had been helping out since last year at Glasgow-based DAYNA Death Abroad You’re Not Alone.

The 63-year-old had been working alongside Julie Love, who co-founded the organisation after her son Colin died in a swimming accident in Venezuela in 2009.

Houston, who once paid himself £104,000 in “consultancy fees” to run Scotia Aid, had been advising DAYNA on ways to raise its profile and funds.

That’s despite an active investigation by OSCR looking at claims his former organisation used a business rates loophole to net millions of pounds meant for local authorities.

But following our reports Julie, 48, has now binned Houston.

“Last year a relative suggested meeting with Mr Houston to discuss ways he could help DAYNA,” she said.

“Since then we’ve had a few meetings and he’s been working in an advisory capacity.

“But following the stories in The Sunday Post we’ve decided to stop that relationship.”

It is not known if Mr Houston was paid for his involvement in DAYNA.

Julie was recognised for her tireless charity work in the New Year’s honours list with a MBE.

She has spent most of the last year battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma and undergoing chemotherapy. She added: “The charity has perhaps suffered in the last year as I’ve not been well.”

Last week, we revealed how Kieran Kelly, 34, and Alan Johnston, 59, had been banned from running charities in Scotland after OSCR’s Scotia Aid probe.

The pair were trustees alongside Houston before he decided to quit.

There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing at DAYNA, which has been widely praised for its work in helping families who have lost a loved one overseas.

Mr Houston could not be reached for comment.