Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry denies embezzling £41,500

Ex-SNP MP Natalie McGarry is due to stand trial later this year for allegedly embezzling more than £41,544.

Former Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry. Picture: John Devlin

The 37-year-old appeared under McGarry or Meikle, her married name, during her first public appearance at Glasgow Sheriff Court today.

Ms McGarry has formally denied the charges in court.

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It’s claimed she embezzled money while she was Treasurer of Women for Independence, and the Treasurer, secretary and convenor of the Glasgow Regional Association of the Scottish National Party.

She faces three charges of embezzlement and a charge contrary to the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, for allegedly not providing a passcode for a mobile phone.

Counsel John McElroy, represented former Glasgow East MP McGarry, from Clarkston and pled not guilty on her behalf.

He said: “I tender pleas of not guilty to the charges on the indictment on behalf of the panel.”

Sheriff Paul Crozier set a trial for April this year and it is expected to last between four to six weeks.

The first charge alleges that between April 26, 2013 and November 30, 2015 McGarry, in the course of her role as Treasurer for Women for Independence embezzled £32,991.

It’s claimed she transferred funds raised through fundraising events into her personal account, failed to transfer charitable donations to the Perth and Kinross food bank and to Positive Prison Positive Futures.

And, that she allegedly used cheques, held in the name of Women for Independence to deposit money into her own account.

The second claims that between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015 she embezzled £4,661.

She is accused of, in the course of her role as Treasurer, secretary and convenor of Glasgow Regional Association of the Scottish National Party that she used cheques in their name and pay expenses not spent by them or sap and “retain reimbursements” which she was not entitled.

The charge also claims while in that role, that she used cheques and money from donated funds to deposit money in to her own accounts.

The third embezzlement charge totalling £3891, allegedly took place between February 1, 2014 and June 17, 2014.

McGarry allegedly transferred money into her own account that was raised through an online crowdfunding campaign which she set up, to raise money for online body “Yes Glasgow”, an organisation set up to campaign for an independent Scotland.

McGarry faces a final charge of failing to provide a passcode for a mobile phone seized from her by police, in August 2016.

Her bail was continued by the sheriff.