Margaret Moran from Southampton made £53,000 false expenses claims, jury rules

Former MP Margaret Moran

Former MP Margaret Moran

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

FORMER Labour MP Margaret Moran fiddled her expenses claims to receive more than £53,000, a jury ruled today.

The 57-year-old, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, 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 after it was ruled that 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 which meant she was unfit to stand trial, the court heard.

''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 in parliamentary expenses.

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, using the money instead to fund ''home improvements''.

She was able to make the dry rot claim by ''flipping'' her two homes - changing which property was her second home and therefore allowing her to claim expenses on it.

Moran also changed dates on invoices for the work so that the money would be paid.

One invoice in August 2007 was for £14,805 - apparently for boiler repairs and work on her conservatory in her constituency home in Luton, when it was actually at her house in Southampton, the court heard.

On another fake bill for more than £4,000, address details given for a building firm were those of an elderly couple.

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 was found unfit to stand trial due to mental health issues, which meant proceedings took place in her absence.

James Sturman QC, defending, said the case represented ''a very, very unhappy period for British democracy''.

Rather than finding her guilty, jurors had to decide whether Moran did commit the acts alleged in the charges, and whether they amount to the offences with which she is charged.

Jurors heard that Moran 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.

Moran ''abused the scheme'', prosecutors said, going as far as to re-submit expenses claims with different descriptions and supportive invoices if they were initially rejected by parliamentary authorities.

The former Luton South MP tried to claim £47 for printing 50 Christmas cards, but was told that greetings cards were not covered by parliamentary expenses, the court heard.

So she submitted a new invoice for the same amount, but this time for ''printing services'', jurors were told.

The same thing happened with a claim for birthday cards, which were later described as ''surgery cards''.

Moran submitted a claim for £22,500 for urgent works for dry rot at her Southampton home in August 2008.

Jurors heard, however, that a builder completed the work between September 2007 and March 2008 before the property became Moran's recognised second home in October 2008.

It had previously been listed as her first home after the sudden death of her sister as she became guardian to her two young children, the court heard.

Comments (15)

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1:07pm Tue 13 Nov 12

sofa_king_right says...

She sickens me, her large head was well and truly in the trough
oh but she got caught and is now conveniently mental, that was lucky
I hope if she ever gets "better" they lock her up for a few years, as long as it would take an average wage earner to make that £53000
GREEDY COW look at you now
oh how the porky have fallen
She sickens me, her large head was well and truly in the trough oh but she got caught and is now conveniently mental, that was lucky I hope if she ever gets "better" they lock her up for a few years, as long as it would take an average wage earner to make that £53000 GREEDY COW look at you now oh how the porky have fallen sofa_king_right
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Tue 13 Nov 12

townieboy says...

whats the big deal ? The benefit cheat last week cried in court walked out free for £54,000. Whats the difference ? least she has a job.
whats the big deal ? The benefit cheat last week cried in court walked out free for £54,000. Whats the difference ? least she has a job. townieboy
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Stillness says...

townieboy wrote:
whats the big deal ? The benefit cheat last week cried in court walked out free for £54,000. Whats the difference ? least she has a job.
What is this job you say she has?
[quote][p][bold]townieboy[/bold] wrote: whats the big deal ? The benefit cheat last week cried in court walked out free for £54,000. Whats the difference ? least she has a job.[/p][/quote]What is this job you say she has? Stillness
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Lone Ranger. says...

......... and the difference between her and David Laws is ................... his argument that he claimed more than £40,000 in expenses for rent paid to his partner because of a desire to keep his sexuality private.
.
So it seems that if you are gay and you wish to keep it quiet its ok ..... oh and to b a minister.
......... and the difference between her and David Laws is ................... his argument that he claimed more than £40,000 in expenses for rent paid to his partner because of a desire to keep his sexuality private. . So it seems that if you are gay and you wish to keep it quiet its ok ..... oh and to b a minister. Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Subject48 says...

sanction her and put her in a proper asylum. for ever.

I wonder, how long it would take for this lil piggy to run from where she opens the letter to the nearest telephone to say shes all better and she would rather go prison...
sanction her and put her in a proper asylum. for ever. I wonder, how long it would take for this lil piggy to run from where she opens the letter to the nearest telephone to say shes all better and she would rather go prison... Subject48
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Tue 13 Nov 12

ohec says...

They go after the little man for a few bob he hasn't declared yet day after day we hear about these people ripping us of for thousands, massive payouts to people that have failed in their jobs companies that pay no tax and the little people at the bottom are footing the bill. People that we foolishly elect can't wait to get on the gravy train, a house of Lords with criminals at their seats what has this country come too.
They go after the little man for a few bob he hasn't declared yet day after day we hear about these people ripping us of for thousands, massive payouts to people that have failed in their jobs companies that pay no tax and the little people at the bottom are footing the bill. People that we foolishly elect can't wait to get on the gravy train, a house of Lords with criminals at their seats what has this country come too. ohec
  • Score: 0

4:05pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

Most of us may rightly have sympathy with people suffering from mental health problems, but in the case of this bent crook and disgrace to even the unprincipled reputation of NuLabour I find it very difficult.

She did not complain about her health issues when fiddling as if there was no tomorrow and through her mega fiddling exercise she is one of those obnoxious persons who has permanently damaged the reputation of many decent honest and hard working MPs from all political parties.

Admittedly she was not the only one cooking books, because many others from all main parties were also doing the same.

Her case stinks even more than others because:
If my memory serves me right (I am sure somebody will correct if I am wrong) even after getting caught didn't she try to cash by offering her services by boasting that she has many connections and sisterhood of females in positions of power?

Massive fiddling was done when she was not sick, so she must have known what she was doing.

Wasn't she supporters of likes of Blair who wanted to crack hard on single mothers and old age pensioners if they were given few more pence even with genuine mistake?

I have no doubt that many will have doubts about her medical condition. As I am not a quack I can't comment on that. BUT if it is not mental sickness of convenience then she may be the perfect candidate to be locked up in some secure mental hospital for a long time.

Otherwise many decent law abiding citizens will be entitled to feel that justice has not been done.

Finally in case she and her husband still own the house where dry rot occurred why it is not possessed and sold to recover profits of fiddles? (As technicaly she is not found guilty I am not sure if those six figure sums can be called proceeds of crime or not).
Most of us may rightly have sympathy with people suffering from mental health problems, but in the case of this bent crook and disgrace to even the unprincipled reputation of NuLabour I find it very difficult. She did not complain about her health issues when fiddling as if there was no tomorrow and through her mega fiddling exercise she is one of those obnoxious persons who has permanently damaged the reputation of many decent honest and hard working MPs from all political parties. Admittedly she was not the only one cooking books, because many others from all main parties were also doing the same. Her case stinks even more than others because: If my memory serves me right (I am sure somebody will correct if I am wrong) even after getting caught didn't she try to cash by offering her services by boasting that she has many connections and sisterhood of females in positions of power? Massive fiddling was done when she was not sick, so she must have known what she was doing. Wasn't she supporters of likes of Blair who wanted to crack hard on single mothers and old age pensioners if they were given few more pence even with genuine mistake? I have no doubt that many will have doubts about her medical condition. As I am not a quack I can't comment on that. BUT if it is not mental sickness of convenience then she may be the perfect candidate to be locked up in some secure mental hospital for a long time. Otherwise many decent law abiding citizens will be entitled to feel that justice has not been done. Finally in case she and her husband still own the house where dry rot occurred why it is not possessed and sold to recover profits of fiddles? (As technicaly she is not found guilty I am not sure if those six figure sums can be called proceeds of crime or not). Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

4:17pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Forest Resident says...

Just read elsewhere that the likely sentence will be no more than a 'supervision order' where she will simply monitored by probation services. What sort of pathetic justice is this? Yet again the political elite are able to protect their own. It's a farce.
Just read elsewhere that the likely sentence will be no more than a 'supervision order' where she will simply monitored by probation services. What sort of pathetic justice is this? Yet again the political elite are able to protect their own. It's a farce. Forest Resident
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Tue 13 Nov 12

sparkster says...

I feel sorry for anyone with mental issues but there is no excuse for stealing especially on the scale she has. She wasnt mentally ill enough to steal she knew what she was doing
I feel sorry for anyone with mental issues but there is no excuse for stealing especially on the scale she has. She wasnt mentally ill enough to steal she knew what she was doing sparkster
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Tue 13 Nov 12

huckit P says...

What are the chances that she will be barred from holding public office again? Probably nil!
In fact with an unbalanced state of mind she would fit right in.
What are the chances that she will be barred from holding public office again? Probably nil! In fact with an unbalanced state of mind she would fit right in. huckit P
  • Score: 0

5:45pm Tue 13 Nov 12

skin2000 says...

huckit P wrote:
What are the chances that she will be barred from holding public office again? Probably nil!
In fact with an unbalanced state of mind she would fit right in.
With the right agent ..... Someone like Max Clifford.... she will probably be 'I'm a celebrity ' next year.
All we need now, is a Police Commissioner who has connections with a major league fraudster, to be elected on Thursday.
[quote][p][bold]huckit P[/bold] wrote: What are the chances that she will be barred from holding public office again? Probably nil! In fact with an unbalanced state of mind she would fit right in.[/p][/quote]With the right agent ..... Someone like Max Clifford.... she will probably be 'I'm a celebrity ' next year. All we need now, is a Police Commissioner who has connections with a major league fraudster, to be elected on Thursday. skin2000
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Gainer T Gopher says...

so how has she proved she is mentally unstable...... stuck 2 pencils up her nose and just answers Wibble to all questions??

unbelievable..... !!
so how has she proved she is mentally unstable...... stuck 2 pencils up her nose and just answers Wibble to all questions?? unbelievable..... !! Gainer T Gopher
  • Score: 0

8:25pm Tue 13 Nov 12

mack chinnon says...

Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Most of us may rightly have sympathy with people suffering from mental health problems, but in the case of this bent crook and disgrace to even the unprincipled reputation of NuLabour I find it very difficult.

She did not complain about her health issues when fiddling as if there was no tomorrow and through her mega fiddling exercise she is one of those obnoxious persons who has permanently damaged the reputation of many decent honest and hard working MPs from all political parties.

Admittedly she was not the only one cooking books, because many others from all main parties were also doing the same.

Her case stinks even more than others because:
If my memory serves me right (I am sure somebody will correct if I am wrong) even after getting caught didn't she try to cash by offering her services by boasting that she has many connections and sisterhood of females in positions of power?

Massive fiddling was done when she was not sick, so she must have known what she was doing.

Wasn't she supporters of likes of Blair who wanted to crack hard on single mothers and old age pensioners if they were given few more pence even with genuine mistake?

I have no doubt that many will have doubts about her medical condition. As I am not a quack I can't comment on that. BUT if it is not mental sickness of convenience then she may be the perfect candidate to be locked up in some secure mental hospital for a long time.

Otherwise many decent law abiding citizens will be entitled to feel that justice has not been done.

Finally in case she and her husband still own the house where dry rot occurred why it is not possessed and sold to recover profits of fiddles? (As technicaly she is not found guilty I am not sure if those six figure sums can be called proceeds of crime or not).
She lives across the road from me.There is nothing wrong with her now and there was nothing wrong with her when she was robbing us.
Her fella was having a good drink in the Dolphin Friday night.
They are laughing at us.
I expexcet a for sale sign up in Ivy road tomorrow
[quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Most of us may rightly have sympathy with people suffering from mental health problems, but in the case of this bent crook and disgrace to even the unprincipled reputation of NuLabour I find it very difficult. She did not complain about her health issues when fiddling as if there was no tomorrow and through her mega fiddling exercise she is one of those obnoxious persons who has permanently damaged the reputation of many decent honest and hard working MPs from all political parties. Admittedly she was not the only one cooking books, because many others from all main parties were also doing the same. Her case stinks even more than others because: If my memory serves me right (I am sure somebody will correct if I am wrong) even after getting caught didn't she try to cash by offering her services by boasting that she has many connections and sisterhood of females in positions of power? Massive fiddling was done when she was not sick, so she must have known what she was doing. Wasn't she supporters of likes of Blair who wanted to crack hard on single mothers and old age pensioners if they were given few more pence even with genuine mistake? I have no doubt that many will have doubts about her medical condition. As I am not a quack I can't comment on that. BUT if it is not mental sickness of convenience then she may be the perfect candidate to be locked up in some secure mental hospital for a long time. Otherwise many decent law abiding citizens will be entitled to feel that justice has not been done. Finally in case she and her husband still own the house where dry rot occurred why it is not possessed and sold to recover profits of fiddles? (As technicaly she is not found guilty I am not sure if those six figure sums can be called proceeds of crime or not).[/p][/quote]She lives across the road from me.There is nothing wrong with her now and there was nothing wrong with her when she was robbing us. Her fella was having a good drink in the Dolphin Friday night. They are laughing at us. I expexcet a for sale sign up in Ivy road tomorrow mack chinnon
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Tue 13 Nov 12

Lockssmart says...

Anyone else. Straight to jail.
Anyone else. Straight to jail. Lockssmart
  • Score: 0

4:07am Wed 14 Nov 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

mack chinnon wrote:
Paramjit Bahia wrote:
Most of us may rightly have sympathy with people suffering from mental health problems, but in the case of this bent crook and disgrace to even the unprincipled reputation of NuLabour I find it very difficult.

She did not complain about her health issues when fiddling as if there was no tomorrow and through her mega fiddling exercise she is one of those obnoxious persons who has permanently damaged the reputation of many decent honest and hard working MPs from all political parties.

Admittedly she was not the only one cooking books, because many others from all main parties were also doing the same.

Her case stinks even more than others because:
If my memory serves me right (I am sure somebody will correct if I am wrong) even after getting caught didn't she try to cash by offering her services by boasting that she has many connections and sisterhood of females in positions of power?

Massive fiddling was done when she was not sick, so she must have known what she was doing.

Wasn't she supporters of likes of Blair who wanted to crack hard on single mothers and old age pensioners if they were given few more pence even with genuine mistake?

I have no doubt that many will have doubts about her medical condition. As I am not a quack I can't comment on that. BUT if it is not mental sickness of convenience then she may be the perfect candidate to be locked up in some secure mental hospital for a long time.

Otherwise many decent law abiding citizens will be entitled to feel that justice has not been done.

Finally in case she and her husband still own the house where dry rot occurred why it is not possessed and sold to recover profits of fiddles? (As technicaly she is not found guilty I am not sure if those six figure sums can be called proceeds of crime or not).
She lives across the road from me.There is nothing wrong with her now and there was nothing wrong with her when she was robbing us.
Her fella was having a good drink in the Dolphin Friday night.
They are laughing at us.
I expexcet a for sale sign up in Ivy road tomorrow
Your guess could be right. If they sell the house and move to Hollywood or Mumbai, British courts won't be able to confiscate property, and with her ability to act as you have observed, she may get some well paid role in some film.

Hope the judge will keep all that in mind when deciding what to do with her.
[quote][p][bold]mack chinnon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Paramjit Bahia[/bold] wrote: Most of us may rightly have sympathy with people suffering from mental health problems, but in the case of this bent crook and disgrace to even the unprincipled reputation of NuLabour I find it very difficult. She did not complain about her health issues when fiddling as if there was no tomorrow and through her mega fiddling exercise she is one of those obnoxious persons who has permanently damaged the reputation of many decent honest and hard working MPs from all political parties. Admittedly she was not the only one cooking books, because many others from all main parties were also doing the same. Her case stinks even more than others because: If my memory serves me right (I am sure somebody will correct if I am wrong) even after getting caught didn't she try to cash by offering her services by boasting that she has many connections and sisterhood of females in positions of power? Massive fiddling was done when she was not sick, so she must have known what she was doing. Wasn't she supporters of likes of Blair who wanted to crack hard on single mothers and old age pensioners if they were given few more pence even with genuine mistake? I have no doubt that many will have doubts about her medical condition. As I am not a quack I can't comment on that. BUT if it is not mental sickness of convenience then she may be the perfect candidate to be locked up in some secure mental hospital for a long time. Otherwise many decent law abiding citizens will be entitled to feel that justice has not been done. Finally in case she and her husband still own the house where dry rot occurred why it is not possessed and sold to recover profits of fiddles? (As technicaly she is not found guilty I am not sure if those six figure sums can be called proceeds of crime or not).[/p][/quote]She lives across the road from me.There is nothing wrong with her now and there was nothing wrong with her when she was robbing us. Her fella was having a good drink in the Dolphin Friday night. They are laughing at us. I expexcet a for sale sign up in Ivy road tomorrow[/p][/quote]Your guess could be right. If they sell the house and move to Hollywood or Mumbai, British courts won't be able to confiscate property, and with her ability to act as you have observed, she may get some well paid role in some film. Hope the judge will keep all that in mind when deciding what to do with her. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

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