Disgraced Labour MP Margaret Moran cheated taxpayers out of £53,000 in the worst case of dishonesty to emerge from the expenses scandal, a jury found today (Tuesday November 13).
Moran, 57, forged invoices for nearly £25,000 and was paid more than £22,000 for work that was never done, goods that did not exist, and from submitting double claims.
She submitted bills for £979.84 for a kitchen that was never installed, £2,283 for a telephone line that did not exist and £2,678.76 for a carpet she went on to claim for again.
In one case she claimed £22,500 – just under the annual maximum expense allowance for an MP – to treat dry rot at her Southampton home, using the money instead to pay for a lavish refurbishment.
She arranged for the taxpayer to foot the bill for personal expenses totalling nearly £60,000 between 2004 and 2008.
During that time the former Luton South MP also ‘flipped’ her designated second home in order to make claims for properties in London, Luton and Southampton.
But Moran did not have to appear in court for a trial of issue at Southwark Crown Court after a judge ruled she was suffering from severe depression.
Jurors decided 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument had been proved after around four hours’ deliberation.
They had not been asked to return formal guilty or not guilty verdicts in respect of Moran.
The only sentencing options available are a hospital order, supervision order, or absolute discharge.