Keir Starmer QC, Director of Public Prosecutions, today announced that Margaret Moran, former Member of Parliament for Luton South, has been summonsed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on 19 September 2011 to face 21 charges in relation to claims she made for parliamentary expenses. Mr Starmer said:
“Having thoroughly reviewed the evidence gathered by the police, we have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring criminal charges against Margaret Moran. These charges relate to fraudulent claims with a total value of more than £60,000.
“The summons relates to 15 charges of false accounting, contrary to the Theft Act 1968. It is alleged that she claimed expenses for the furnishing and improvement of main residences between November 2004 and August 2008 through a scheme intended for the maintenance of second homes or offices.
“Ms Moran also faces six charges of forgery, contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, where it is alleged that she submitted forged invoices in support of some of her claims.”
On 15 May 2009, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner agreed to set up a panel of senior police officers and senior prosecuting lawyers to assess a number of complaints made to the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to parliamentary expense claims.
To date, 10 files of evidence in relation to 10 individuals have been submitted to the CPS for a charging decision. Of those, seven cases including that of Margaret Moran have resulted in charges, no further action was taken in two cases and the request for a charging decision on one file was withdrawn by the police after further evidence came to light. There are no longer any cases to be considered by the panel.
Mr Starmer added:
“Margaret Moran now stands charged with criminal offences and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice her trial.”
- False accounting is an offence under Section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 and is punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment. Using a false document/instrument is an offence under Section 3 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 and punishable by up to ten years’ imprisonment.
- The final evidence in this case was received from the Metropolitan Police Service on 14 July 2011. Final representations were received from the defence solicitors on 19 August 2011.