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U.K. Lawmaker Taylor Convicted of Expenses Fraud

(Corrects spelling of Illsley’s first name in second paragraph in a story published Jan. 25)

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. lawmaker John Taylor was convicted of fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds of expenses following a trial in London.

Taylor, 58, became the first lawmaker to be convicted by a jury of expenses fraud since the scandal swept through parliament in 2009, tainting members of all parties. Two other lawmakers, David Chaytor and Eric Illsley, have pleaded guilty to fraud charges. Chaytor was sentenced to 18 months in jail, Illsley hasn’t been sentenced yet.

In a seven-day trial, prosecutor Helen Law claimed that in 2006 and 2007 Taylor lied when making six reimbursement claims for travel and accommodation. Taylor told Parliament’s expenses office he lived in Oxford and needed to pay for accommodation in London, where he commuted during the week, Law said. In reality, he was living in the capital, she said.

Taylor, who is a member of the U.K.’s second lawmaking chamber, the House of Lords, had denied wrongdoing. During the trial his lawyer Mohammed Khamisa said the House of Lords’ expenses system was “unclear” and “ill-defined.”

Thomas Brownlow, one of Taylor’s lawyers, didn’t respond to a message seeking comment. The court hasn’t yet set a date for Taylor’s sentencing.

Illsley and Chaytor were both formerly Labour party lawmakers. Taylor was formerly a Conservative lawmaker.

“Today, a jury has seen through his dishonesty by finding him guilty of theft by false accounting,” Stephen O’Doherty, a lawyer for Crown Prosecution Service special crime division, said in an e-mailed statement after Taylor’s conviction. “He will now face the consequences of his actions.”

To contact the reporter on this story: James Lumley in London at jlumley1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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