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Ex-MP Jim Devine 'used false invoices in claims for expenses'

A FORMER Labour MP accused of fiddling his parliamentary expenses used false invoices to claim for cleaning work that was not done, a court heard today.

Jim Devine, 57, who held a Commons seat for Livingston in Scotland is on trial at London's Southwark Crown Court for falsely claiming almost 9,000 from the public purse.

He also claimed for the printing of leaflets that were never printed, the prosecution says.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said: "The defendant is James Devine, known as Jim. He is 57 years of age.

"In September of 2005 he was elected as Member of Parliament of Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland.

"These proceedings arose out of a series of allegedly false and dishonest claims submitted by him in his capacity as an MP in respect of claims for expenses that he asserted he had incurred."

The prosecutor told the jurors that the case against him was "very straight forward".

Going through the charges against Devine, he said the former MP made the claims "with a view to gain for himself, or with an intent to cause loss to another - the public purse".

Mr Wright said he used five false invoices to claim for the cleaning work, and two false documents to claim for printing leaflets.

"It's a false claim for expenses. That's what it amounts to," he said.

"They are from a legitimate company but they are not in respect of work that was done.

"They were, in fact, false documents."

The first count alleges that, between July 2008 and May 2009, Devine dishonestly claimed 3,240 for cleaning services from Tom O'Donnell Hygiene and Cleaning Services.

This claim was made for his second home in south west London, near Westminster, where Devine sat in the Commons.

The second count alleges that between March 2009 and April 2009, Devine dishonestly claimed 5,505 for stationery from Armstrong Printing using false invoices.

Devine, of West Main Street, Bathgate, West Lothian, denies both charges of false accounting.

 
 
 

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