MEP CHARGED: Tom Wise and researcher accused of false accounting and money laundering

MEP TOM Wise and his researcher have been charged with false accounting and money laundering after a police probe into claims they misused large amounts of public funds. Mr Wise, 60, an MEP for the Eastern Region that includes Cambridgeshire, was charged

MEP TOM Wise and his researcher have been charged with false accounting and money laundering after a police probe into claims they misused large amounts of public funds.

Mr Wise, 60, an MEP for the Eastern Region that includes Cambridgeshire, was charged yesterday by the economic crime unit of Bedfordshire Police. His researcher Lindsay Jenkins, is also facing charges following the investigation into offences alleged to have occurred nearly five years ago.

Mr Wise has indicated through his solicitor Stephen Welfare that he will be defending the charges.

Mr Welfare felt it was "scandalous" the charges should be brought now: in two months times Mr Wise is proposing to stand again for the European Parliament as an independent candidate. He was elected last time on a UKIP ticket.

Derek Frame, of the Crown Prosecution Service's special crime division, said the charges follow an investigation by a newspaper which led to a probe by the anti fraud unit in Europe who later handed evidence to Bedfordshire police.

Mr Wise and Ms Jenkins will appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on April 27.

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Maximum sentence for false accounting is seven years and for money laundering it is 14 years.

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