Margaret Moran Found To Have Fiddled Expenses

A former Labour MP has been found to have fiddled £53,000 in expenses, in the worst case to have emerged from the parliamentary scandal.

A jury decided Margaret Moran did commit 15 counts of false accounting and six counts of using a false instrument.

Moran, who was MP for Luton South from 1997 until 2010, falsely claimed around £60,000 between 2004 and 2008, of which she received £53,000.

She claimed almost her entire annual allowance in one bogus entry and forged invoices for more than £20,000 of non-existent goods and services.

One request for £22,500 - apparently to cover the cost of treating dry rot on her Southampton home - became one of the most notorious claims of the scandal.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court in London were unable to return a guilty verdict after Moran was ruled unfit to stand trial for mental health reasons.

But the case went ahead as a trial of issue and the jury reached a unanimous verdict on all counts.

Mr Justice Saunders adjourned the disposal of the case to a later date.

Moran, 57, could be given a supervision order, hospital order or absolute discharge where no further action is taken against her, the court heard.

"She is presently being treated by psychiatrists at home and that treatment will continue," the judge said.

The former MP's expense claims are the largest amount uncovered in the wake of the scandal that rocked Westminster in 2009.

Former Labour minister Elliot Morley was jailed last year for dishonestly claiming more than £30,000.