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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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Ex-MEP Nicole Sinclaire charged with money laundering and misconduct in public office

23/07/2014

Simon Orme, Specialist Lawyer with the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "The CPS has authorised West Midlands Police to charge Ms Nicole Sinclaire, former MEP for the West Midlands, with the offences of money laundering and misconduct in public office.

"It is alleged that between October 2009 and July 2010, whilst serving as an MEP, Ms Sinclaire used funds paid into her bank account by the European Parliament in respect of false travelling expenses claims.

"Ms Sinclaire has also been charged with Misconduct in a Public Office with regard to her actions.

"The decision to prosecute was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. We have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"Criminal proceedings have now commenced and Ms Sinclaire has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: "West Midlands Police's Economic Crime Unit has today [Wednesday, 23 July] formally charged former MEP Nicole Sinclaire with misconduct in public office and money laundering.

"Ms Sinclaire is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 17 September where she will hear claims that she made false and dishonest submissions for travelling expenses and transferred the proceeds of fraud through a bank account in her name.

"The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1 October 2009 and 31 July 2010 when Ms Sinclaire was a serving Member of the European Parliament.

"The 45-year-old, of Velsheda Road, Shirley, was originally arrested on 22 February 2012 and has since been on police bail. Three other members of the public were also arrested but will face no further action.

"Throughout the investigation West Midlands Police has been working jointly with officers from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)."

Ends

Charges

Ms Nicole Sinclaire has been charged with the following:

  • Money Laundering, contrary to Sections 327 or 329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Misconduct in Public Office, contrary to Common Law.

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.