Tuesday, July 29, 2008

LibDem Donor Is 'On the Run'

The Press Association crime desk is reporting...

An international businessman whose company gave the Liberal Democrats more than £2 million has gone on the run just weeks before going on trial for fraud. Michael Brown, 42, was due to stand trial in September accused of a string of fraud and money laundering offences. But a judge at Southwark Crown Court issued an arrest warrant today after he breached his bail conditions.

This also begs the question as to whether this puts back further the date when we will finally get a verdict by the Electoral Commission on whether Michael Brown's donation to the LibDems was permissible or not. They suspended their inquiry pending Metropolitan Police investigations into Mr Brown's activities nearly two years ago.


9 comments:

Conand said...

I'd like to issue a friendly warning to Newspaper editors: The headline 'Fraud suspect Brown on the run' won't sell any extra copies. People will assume its just another story about our beleaguered PM and buy something else.

Irfan Ahmed said...

Well you have really taken this story to the full length that you can achieve haven’t you?

How many Money Related Crimes have the Conservatives and Labour Committed in the Last one year? If we count them up the Liberal Democrats have probably just had about one third of that many since the party was formed.

The Lakelander said...

So that's 2 "Mr Browns" who have gone into hiding this week...

Anonymous said...

Righty-ho, so no doubt the Lib Dems will now be giving back his money ?

After all they wouldn't want to be tainted with the smell of sleaze and corruption, now would they ?

Manj said...

Disappointing, but hardly surprising, that you didn't bother quoting what the Electoral Commission last said about this:

" The Electoral Commission has investigated the donations Mr Brown made to the Lib Dems.

It concluded it was “reasonable for the Liberal Democrats - based on the information available to them at the time - to regard the donations they received from 5th Avenue Partners Ltd in 2005, totalling just over £2.4m, as permissible.

“It remains the Commission’s view that the Liberal Democrats acted in good faith at that time, and the Commission is not re-opening the question of whether the party or its officers failed to carry out sufficient checks into the permissibility of the donations.”


Nothing has changed with regard to that, but be a shameless opportunist anyway!

Diablo said...

When are we going to get any news of the CPS's decision on the Anraham's case?

simon said...

I don't really think this will do the Limpies any real damage. Will they give Mr Broon his money back? Unlikely, they may have to pay off CK's bar bill or either buy poor old Cleggers a personality.

Anonymous said...

His bail conditions were simple. He had to donate to New Labour.
freedom to prosper

Anonymous said...

In an answer to a query in February:

"Criminal charges are pending against Michael Brown, relating to the activities of his company 5th Avenue. The Commission does not wish to take any action that might prejudice these criminal proceedings. We would also wish to take into account any relevant evidence arising from this case. For these reasons the Commission does not intend to make any decision at this time in relation to the donations to the Liberal Democrats. We are also at present not aware of when we will be able to make further decisions."

So the matter is not closed.

Meanwhile, the Commission can keep its staff busy persecuting UKIP over technical transgressions.