Six MPs and peers face fraud charges in British expenses scandal

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London, Nov 19(ANI): At least six British MPs and peers may face criminal charges of fraud into the abuse of the Parliamentary expenses system following investigations by Scotland Yard.

According to a report, the charges are against Labour MPs Elliot Morley, David Chaytor and Jim Devine, and peers Baroness Uddin, Lord Hanningfield and Lord Clarke of Hampstead.

The MPs are likely to face court on counts of fraud, for which the maximum sentence is 10 years, or false accounting, for which the maximum penalty is up to seven years, The Telegraph reported.

Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is expected to make a decision on whether to prosecute the politicians before the General Election in January.

The report further said that a team of detectives, assessing and investigating cases for the past five months since disclosure of the widespread abuse of parliamentary allowances, is on the verge of finalizing their files on the MPs.

Morley and Chaytor, who both claimed thousands of pounds for 'phantom' mortgages that had already been paid off, are thought to be the most serious frauds.

Morley, a former Agriculture Minister, claimed 16,000 pounds for a mortgage that did not exist and also admitted wrongly claiming 20,000 pounds for mortgage capital repayments.

While, Chaytor admitted making an "unforgivable error" when he was revealed to have claimed 13,000 pounds in interest for a mortgage that had been paid off. (ANI)

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