Ex-MEP jailed for �39k expenses swindle

A FORMER East of England Euro MP was today jailed for two years for a �39,000 expenses fiddle.

A FORMER East of England Euro MP was today jailed for two years for a �39,000 expenses fiddle.

Tom Wise, 61, who lives in Leighton Buzzard, was elected to Brussels in 2004 for the UK Independence Party before being expelled from the party and turning independent.

He spent a year channelling taxpayers' cash into a bank account he secretly controlled, pretending the �3,000 “secretarial assistance allowance” he received every month was for his researcher Lindsay Jenkins.

But he only paid her �500 a month.


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Mark Fenhalls, prosecuting at his trial, said: “He used the funds, for example, to buy a car, to purchase fine wines and pay off some of his credit card debts.”

When the fraud was eventually exposed by a national newspaper four years' ago, the MEP promptly “took steps to cancel the claim and repay the money.”

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Mr Fenhalls said that, but for the discovery, Wise - thought to be the first British politician to be jailed for fiddling expenses - could have pocketed up to �180,000.

Last month, on the third day of his three-week trial and just before UKIP leader Nigel Farrage was to give evidence against him, Wise admitted his guilt.

Jenkins, of west London, had also been on trial but was then cleared. She had denied both the false accounting charge and an allegation of using criminal property between November 14 2004 and November 1 the following year.

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