Page last updated at 18:11 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 19:11 UK

British MEP is charged with fraud

Tom Wise
Tom Wise represents East Anglia in the European Parliament

A British member of the European Parliament has been charged with false accounting and money laundering.

Tom Wise, 60, from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, was elected for UKIP in 2004 but is now sitting as an Independent MEP for East Anglia.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the UK police inquiry followed a news report in 2005 concerning Mr Wise's use of allowances.

The MEP has been charged along with his then researcher Lindsay Jenkins.

News article

Both are accused of one count of false accounting and one count of money laundering.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 2004 and September 2005.

Derek Frame, from the CPS, said: "Following the publication of a news article in October 2005 relating to Mr Wise and Ms Jenkins, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) began an investigation into Mr Wise's use of allowances.

"OLAF subsequently passed the investigation to Bedfordshire Police Economic Crime Unit for investigation. "

Mr Wise, who represents Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, is one of seven MEPs who cover the eastern region.

He was unavailable to comment on the matter.

Mr Wise and Ms Jenkins are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 27 April.

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