Bit worrying that Pearson didn't even notice the loss of such a large sum of money! Just another UKIP style administrative error?
From the Guardian:
Former PWS boss Julian Messent jailed for 21 months
Julian Messent admits funnelling £1.2m of corrupt payments to Costa Rica officials
A former chief executive of a City firm who admitted paying bribes to win contracts overseas was today jailed for 21 months. Julian Messent, 50, resigned in 2006 as chief executive at insurance firm PWS – founded by former Ukip leader Lord Pearson – after admitting funnelling £1.2m worth of corrupt payments to government officials in Costa Rica between February 1999 and June 2002.
The payments were made while Messent was a director of the company's international property division and his pay was directly linked to the amount of business he won, Southwark crown court heard. In 2003, he became the company's CEO.
Sentencing him to 21 months in prison for his part in authorising 41 corrupt payments in exchange for the contracts, Judge Rivlin told him his offences justified a four- to five-year prison sentence but that he had taken into account his early guilty plea and that he was a family man of previous good character.
The judge said: "It is plain, Mr Messent, that you were deeply involved in the decision making and the process of these crimes. You orchestrated them."
He also barred Messent from serving as a company director for five years and ordered him to pay the "people and government of Costa Rica" £100,000 in compensation within 21 days.
To see the original: LINK