Jared O’Mara: Former Labour MP found guilty of £24,000 expenses fraud to fund his cocaine habit
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Jared O’Mara has been found guilty of making fraudulent expenses claims to fund his cocaine habit while in office. The former Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam was convicted on six counts after he tried to claim £24,000 of taxpayers money.
The 41-year-old went on trial for submitting “dishonest” invoices to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) over June to August 2019. His false claims include four that total to £19,400 for a “fictitious” organisation called Confident About Autism South Yorkshire.
O’Mara also issued a claim through a false contract of employment for his close friend John Woodcliff, who was found not guilty of one offence of fraud. He pretended that Mr Woodcliff was working as a constituency support officer for him.
Jared O’Mara was found guilty of fraud for emailing Ipsa in February 2020 to falsely notify the organisation that the investigation into him had been concluded and that he was entitled to be paid the two extra invoices totalling at £4,650.
The invoices were made in relation to another close friend of the former Sheffield Hallam MP, Gareth Arnold - who he shared a number of WhatsApp messages with - for media and PR work that prosecutors had claimed was never carried out. Mr Arnold was O’Mara’s chief of staff in 2019 and has been found guilty of three fraud charges, as well as being cleared of three more.
Mr O’Mara will be sentenced, along with Mr Arnold, at the same court on Thursday (February 9), and Judge Tom Bayliss KC has told him that he must physically attend. He had previously appeared in court by video link throughout the trial.