Former Labour MP Margaret Moran fiddled her expenses claims to receive more than £53,000, a jury ruled yesterday.
The 57-year-old claimed nearly her entire annual allowance in one bogus expense entry and forged invoices for more than £20,000 of non-existent goods and services.
Moran, who served as MP for Luton South from 1997 until the 2010 General Election, was found to have falsely claimed around £60,000 in parliamentary expenses between 2004 and 2008, of which she received £53,000.
Jurors at Southwark Crown Court in London were unable to return a guilty verdict as Moran was unfit to stand trial for mental health reasons.
Instead, in a trial of issue, the jury found that she had committed 15 counts of false accounting and six counts of using a false instrument over the claims for parliamentary expenses.
Mr Justice Saunders adjourned the disposal of the case to a later date after the jury reached a unanimous verdict on all counts.
Moran may be subject to a supervision order, a hospital order or absolute discharge, where no further action is taken against her, the judge said.
She will not face a criminal conviction due to her ill health. “She is presently being treated by psychiatrists at home and that treatment will continue,” Mr Justice Saunders said.
Moran’s false expenses claims are the largest amount uncovered in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal. Former Labour minister Elliot Morley was jailed last year for dishonestly claiming more than £30,000. The court heard Moran submitted an invoice for £22,500 in August 2008 – just under the annual maximum expense allowance for an MP – to treat dry rot at her Southampton home, but used the money to fund “home improvements”.