Mentally ill ex-MP used false address to claim cash

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A FORMER Labour MP made a series of bogus expense claims, including using an elderly couple’s address on a fake invoice, a court has heard.

Margaret Moran, 57, is accused of making false claims for £60,000 in parliamentary expenses between 2004-8.

Southwark Crown Court heard yesterday that on one bill for more than £4,000, address details given for a building firm were those of an elderly couple.

Prosecutor Peter Wright QC said: “They relate to the home of an elderly couple with no connection whatsoever to Elite builders. The invoice was a complete forgery. It was simply a means of pocketing £4,756.40 in public money.”

She also claimed more than £2,000 for a landline at her flat when there was no phone line fitted, the jury heard, and for carpet for three bedrooms for her one-bedroom Westminster flat.

Moran is accused of 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument over the claims for expenses.

The former politician was found unfit to stand trial due to mental health issues, so proceedings are taking place in her absence. Rather than finding her guilty, jurors have to decide whether Moran did commit the acts alleged in the charges, and whether they amount to the offences with which she is charged.

Mr Wright went through each count Moran is facing. He said that he had altered addresses to make it look as if she was making legitimate claims for her second home or constituency office, when they were to cover her personal costs.