Former MEP Ashley Mote jailed for five years for fraudulently claiming £500,000 from the European Parliament
A former MEP, who was elected on a Ukip ticket, from Hampshire will be jailed for five years for fraudulently claiming almost £500,000 worth of expenses from the European Parliament.
Ashley Mote, 79, was convicted in May for 12 fraud-related offences, and using the gains to fund his court battles in the UK.
At London's Southwark Crown Court, a jury found him guilty on four counts of obtaining money transfer by deception, three counts of false accounting, two of fraud, and one each of acquiring criminal property, concealing criminal property and theft.
Justice Stuart Smith – not sitting on the fence – said:
You deceived people who shared your ideals and regarded you as something of a political hero. You are, as was said by the trial judge when you were convicted of substantial benefits fraud in 2007, a thoroughly dishonest man.
The consistency of your dishonesty is positively breathtaking.
During his tenure as an MEP, between 2004 and 2009, the former south-east England representative claimed a total of £750,000 in parliamentary assistance allowance, though some of these claims were legitimate.
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Mote was elected as an MEP on a Ukip ticket in 2004, but was thrown out just before he took his seat because he was being prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions for benefit fraud. He sat as an independent MEP until 2009.