Taken from the Daily Mail:
A British Euro MP was last night charged with fiddling thousands of pounds of taxpayer-funded expenses.
Former UKIP politician Tom Wise is accused of false accounting and money laundering following accusations that he fiddled his generous Brussels staff allowances.
He is thought to be the first MEP to face criminal charges over the use of Parliamentary perks.
Wise, 60, a former policeman, was arrested in June last year after it was revealed that he had allegedly siphoned off nearly £40,000 of public money by claiming it was for a researcher’s salary.
Detectives investigated after it was claimed Wise only passed on some of the cash and banked the rest. He allegedly spent £6,500 on a Peugeot 406.
He was alleged to have pretended that his own bank account was that of his then researcher Lindsay Jenkins which is against EU rules.
He is alleged to have channelled £39,100 into it, from which he paid Jenkins £13,555.
Jenkins, 62, was also charged with one count of false accounting and one count of money laundering.
Wise and Jenkins were jointly charged following a nine-month police probe. They pair were released on bail and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court next Monday.
The £62,000-a-year MEP faces a maximum 14 years in jail if found guilty of money laundering. The maximum term for false accounting is seven years.
Wise now sits as an independent MEP for East Anglia after being dismissed from the Rightwing party.
News of the criminal charges will once again turn the spotlight on the Brussels gravy train.
Wise’s lawyer, Stephen Welfare, said: ‘Mr Wise denies any intent to deceive or any unlawful wrongdoing whatsoever and he will be fighting the allegations in court.’
He said neither Wise nor his family had profited and said there had been no loss to the European Parliament.
He added: ‘It is frankly scandalous that Mr Wise has been charged with criminal offences.’
End of article.
Paul Wesson - of the British Democracy Forum - summed up the feelings of many when he said:
Well, that finally answers that question.
There are a lot of people who have made a lot of rude and facetious comments against those who have said that Tom Wise would be charged - GLW and junius inter alia.
It seems that there ought to be a lot of apologies, but there won't be.
Fact: Tom Wise and Lindsay Jenkins have been charged.
The timing is not good for UKIP. Although TW is no longer in UKIP he was elected on the UKIP ticket. The press will have a field day. 12 MEPs elected for UKIP, 2 charged with false accounting, fraud etc. One resigned and set up his own party. The lead UKIP candidate in Tom Wise's region is already p*ssing into wind with his pretence that he belongs to a Prime Ministerial family. Honesty, openness, transparency..................
End of quote.
Well said Paul! Let us hope that OLAF now move against Derek Clark MEP and Jeffrey Titford MEP who have both been accused of misusing EU funds. David Bannerman also needs to be exposed in the press for lying about being related to a former prime minister.
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