Four Brit politicians could face jail if convicted in MPs' expenses scam

Posted By: Staff
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London, Feb. 6 (ANI): The four British politicians, who are embroiled in MPs' expenses scandal, can face jail up to five months if found guilty. ccording to Sentencing Guidelines Council, in cases where between 20,000 pounds and 100,000 pounds are stolen in a pre-planned fraud, judges should consider jail terms of between two and five years.

Scunthorpe MP and former agriculture minister Elliot Morley and Bury North MP David Chaytor are accused of claiming false expenses of more than 20,000 pounds.

Those convicted of stealing less than 20,000 pounds in similar circumstances could face jail terms of up to three years.

Livingston MP Jim Devine is accused of falsely claiming expenses worth 8,745 pounds.

"The charges are likely to be vigorously defended and, perhaps anticipating this, the CPS has brought charges of false accounting, an offence which is sometimes viewed as being more easy to prosecute successfully," The Scotsman quoted Solicitor Jeremy Summers, of Russell Jones and Walker, as saying.

"In the event that a conviction is secured, realistically the court will have to look at imposing a custodial sentence," he added.

Legal commentator Ian Caplin said holding a public office and breach of trust would be additional aggravating factors.

"On conviction, just by virtue of holding that office, it certainly aggravates it and judges certainly would not rule out custody automatically," he said.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said the four would be charged with breaking section 17 of the Theft Act 1968.(ANI)

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