A former MEP from UKIP, Britain’s anti-immigration party, has been jailed for five years at Southwark Crown Court after claiming almost £500,000 in fraudulent expenses.
Ashley Mote submitted bogus claims for his parliamentary allowance, and used the money to fund his court battles in the UK after he was prosecuted for a previous benefits fraud.
Mr Justice Stuart Smith said the 79-year-old had “lied, protested, lied and lied again” during his trial.
He said: “Your greed and dishonesty were matched only by your hypocrisy because while this was going on you carried out a high profile campaign condemning corruption and the improper use of public money in the very institution from which you were leeching it.
“You knew perfectly well what the rules were for the claiming of expenses and you also knew perfectly well that what you were doing had nothing to do with funding whistleblowers and everything to do with funding your bridging loan, your mortgage, your legal expenses that were unrelated to your role as an MEP.
“Along the way you deceived people who shared your declared political ideals and even considered you to be something of a political hero.
“You are, as was said by the trial judge when you were convicted of substantial benefits fraud in 2007, a thoroughly dishonest man.
“The consistency of your dishonesty is breathtaking.”
Mote was convicted at a trial of four counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three of false accounting, two of fraud, and one each of acquiring criminal property, concealing criminal property and theft.
The offences took place between 2004 and 2010.