NEW: here’s *actual* evidence that Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is accepting foreign donations via PayPal. Dollars, yuan, Swiss francs, roubles..you name it, they’ll take it. Laundered by PayPal into British £. This *cannot* be legal, surely?? Electoral Commission MUST investigate
This is nuts. Here’s Brexit Party taking donations in dollars. Which PayPal magically turns into £. Remember: it’s illegal in Britain for parties to accept foreign donations. Brexit Party seem to think they’ve found a loophole because less than £500..but surely still illegal?
Remember how I said if scheme looks like money laundering & smells like money laundering, Brexit Party’s should prove it’s *not* money laundering? That was before I knew an *actual* money launderer involved. Meet George Cottrell. Convicted felon. And acting Brexit Party treasurer
The story of George Cottrell’s involvement with Nigel Farage is completely wild. He was UKIP’s head of fundraising & Farage’s closest aide when busted by feds while with Farage in US & charged with 21 counts inc money laundering, wire fraud & extortion
.@observeruk found Cottrell had been claiming to people he is acting treasurer of Brexit Party. And had been photographed at Brexit Party events. My story didn’t make it in to paper today. But Sun Times *did* publish with what looks like separate sources
Here’s Brexit Party’s spokesman conspicuously failing to deny George Cottrell’s involvement. No ‘official position’. Also ‘not paid’. Note: Cottrell told Telegraph that his previous fundraising gig for UKIP was an unpaid role..
You want more extraordinary facts about the Brexit Party’s George Cottrell? Step right up. Here’s where @peterjukes & I reported @andywigmore had sent his legal docs to Russian embassy marked ‘For your eyes only.’ And the message: ‘Have fun with this’
So Electoral Commission apparently told @alexGspence that not illegal if less than £500. Which seems a pretty extraordinary loophole. But because no ID checks at all, it’s also open to abuse: multiple donations etc.
You can follow @carolecadwalla.
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