Ex-MEP to be sentenced over £500k expenses fraud

Ashley Mote, 79, was convicted in May of 12 fraud-related offences

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UKIP MEP Ashley Mote Facing Fraud Charges

A former Ukip MEP will be sentenced today for fraudulently claiming almost £500,000 in European Parliament expenses.

Ashley Mote, 79, was convicted in May of 12 fraud-related offences and of using the gains to fund his court battles in the UK.

A jury at London's Southwark Crown Court found him guilty of four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three of false accounting, two of fraud, and one each of acquiring criminal property, concealing criminal property and theft.

The offences took place between November 2004 and July 2010.

Mote, of Binsted, Hampshire, will appear at the same court on conditional bail for sentencing today.

Following his conviction, Mr Justice Stuart Smith said: ''He must appreciate that there is a very strong likelihood that a custodial sentence will follow.''

Mote submitted numerous false claims for parliamentary assistance allowance, which was supposed to be for work that organisations had carried out on his behalf.

He dishonestly obtained approximately 355,000 euro and £184,000 of allowances to which he was not entitled.

Between 2004, when he was elected MEP, and 2009, he claimed a total of £750,000 in parliamentary assistance allowance - taking into account his legitimate claims and fraudulent activity.

Mote was elected as a Ukip MEP for South East England in 2004, but shortly before he took up his seat he was thrown out of Nigel Farage's party because he was being prosecuted by the Department for Work and Pensions for benefit fraud.

He sat as an independent MEP until 2009, when he decided not to stand for re-election.

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