Richard Dawkins is suing his former forum moderator, who was also commissioned to run the Richard Dawkins Foundation’s online store, for embezzling hundreds of thousands of pounds. It makes Josh Timonen insisting on wiping the server for the old forum look rather suspicious..
GLENDALE, Calif. (CN) – Evolutionary biologist and best-selling author Richard Dawkins claims an employee of his Foundation for Reason and Science embezzled $375,000 from the online store he ran for Dawkins’ charity, by claiming it made only $30,000 in 3 years.
Dawkins says he founded the charity to “support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering.”
Dawkins hired Josh Timonen in 2006 to run his website and produce videos for him, according to the Superior Court complaint. Timonen began working for the Foundation in 2007.
According to Timonen’s own records, Dawkins and the Foundation paid Timonen a total of $278,750 in 3½ years – an amount Dawkins calls “exceedingly generous and well above-market for someone of Timonen’s age and experience, particularly for someone providing the bulk of his efforts to a charitable organization.”
…Because legal requirements imposed by the British Charities Commission prohibited the British wing of the foundation from running its own store, Dawkins says he asked Timonen to run the store through his company, Upper Branch Productions.
Timonen took the reins, Dawkins says, and ran the online store for 3 years, during which he claimed the store cleared only $30,000 and “was just squeaking by.” But the scientist says Timonen actually pocketed $375,000.