Former county MEP charged with money laundering

Former county MEP charged with money laundering

Former county MEP charged with money laundering

First published in News
Last updated
Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A FORMER Worcestershire MEP has been charged with money laundering and misconduct while in public office.

Nikki Sinclaire, who had been on bail since February 2012, was charged yesterday by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

The CPS said it relates to Miss Sinclaire's travel expenses during her time in the European Parliament, and specifically the period between October 2009 and June 2010.

Miss Sinclaire is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Wednesday, September 17.

The 45-year-old was first elected in 2009, representing the entire West Midlands region for the UK Independence Party but lost her seat at last month's Euro elections.

A keen Worcester City fan, she left UKIP back in 2010 after refusing to be part of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group in Brussels, saying it held too many extreme right wing views and citing problems between her and Mr Farage.

Last month she stood for a new party called We Demand a Referendum Now.

Since she was first arrested in 2012 on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud the European Parliament she has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Simon Orme, from the CPS' special crime division, said: “It is alleged that between October 2009 and July 2010, whilst serving as an MEP Miss Sinclaire used funds paid into her bank account by the European Parliament in respect of false travelling expenses claims.

"Miss Sinclaire has also been charged with Misconduct in a Public Office with regard to her actions."

Miss Sinclaire has now released a statement saying she is “disappointed” by the decision and refutes the charge.

It said: “I am disappointed the police have chosen to charge me with the above offences without questioning me on them, after a two-and-a-half-year investigation.

“The charges relate to my time as a UKIP MEP when I was under the guidance and oversight by the party in the Parliament. This will prove pivotal in resolving the matter.

“During my time as an MEP I put in more than £120,000 of my salary into the cost of my work activities.

“It was also me, who in 2010, drew the attention of the West Midlands Police, to irregularities I discovered had taken place, without my knowledge, in my UKIP office.

"I strongly refute these charges and will be firmly defending myself. I am certain I shall be found innocent of these ludicrous and unfounded accusations.”

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