Former Labour MEP for the south east to pay £85k Proceeds of Crime confiscation order

Confiscation order: Disgraced former MEP Peter Skinner Photo Foto-AG Gymnasium Melle Wikimedia Commons

Disgraced former MEP for the south east Peter Skinner has been ordered to pay £85,436.96 to satisfy a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Skinner, 58, of Recreation Avenue, Snodland was jailed for four years in 2016 after being found guilty of one count of fraud, one count of false accounting and one count of making a false instrument.

Officers from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate found he was wrongfully claiming thousands of pounds that should have been used to cover staff costs.

Trip to Hawaii

Examples included paying monthly maintenance payments as part of his divorce settlement and a honeymoon to the United States and Hawaii following his second marriage.

Following Skinner’s conviction, a confiscation hearing was conducted at Southwark Crown Court over five days in October 2017.

Mrs Justice McGowan’s written ruling was delivered today (April 27) at Southwark Crown Court, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice. It ordered Skinner to pay the confiscation order of £85,436.96 within 3 months, with a 12 month term in default.

Skinner was also ordered to pay £10,000 in confiscation costs and £50,000 in Prosecution costs, with 6 months to pay.

 Abuse of position

Detective Inspector Annie Clayton said: “Peter Skinner served as an MEP for 20 years and badly let down those who supported and trusted him throughout his time in office.

“The abuse of his position to enhance his own lifestyle resulted in a prison sentence and now a confiscation order to the value of £85,436.96.

“This should send a message to offenders that once they have been sentenced we will continue to investigate to recover any financial gain they have made from their activities and to reimburse victims where appropriate.

“We will use the legislation that is available to seize any cash or property that we can prove they have obtained through criminal behaviour.”

Skinner was MEP  for the Labour Party for South East England. He was a member of the European Parliament from 1994 until 2014.

He was succeeded by Anneliese Dodds.