Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Ex-MP charged with expenses fraud

Denis MacShane is to be charged with false accounting
Denis MacShane is to be charged with false accounting

Former MP Denis MacShane is to be charged with false accounting over £12,900 of expenses claims, prosecutors said.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had decided there was "sufficient evidence" to proceed against the ex-Labour minister for allegedly faking receipts.

Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of the special crime division at the CPS, said: "Having thoroughly reviewed the evidence gathered by the police, I have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring a criminal charge against Denis MacShane. This charge relates to fraudulent claims with a total value of £12,900.

"The charge is of false accounting, contrary to the Theft Act 1968. It is alleged that Denis MacShane claimed expenses for research and translation services carried out by a company that did not carry out that work."

He will appear at City of Westminister Magistrates' Court on July 30.

Police began examining MacShane's expenses nearly three years ago after allegations about abuses surfaced, before dropping the case.

However, the investigation was reopened in the wake of a report from the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee last November which found that he had faked receipts to receive thousands of pounds of public money.

The report included letters from the former Labour minister to the standards commissioner detailing his actions, which had not previously been seen by police.

MacShane stood down as MP for Rotherham after the committee recommended he be suspended from the Commons for 12 months.

He said in a statement: "I am disappointed at the CPS decision but as the matter is now in the hands of the court I will be making no further statement."

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