Michael Brown 'on the run' ahead of fraud trial

by Stephen Tall on July 29, 2008

According to Sky News:

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Michael Brown after he skipped bail. He is the Lib Dems’ biggest ever donor, having given £2.4m to the party in the run up to the 2005 General Election. He 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.

All credit to Sky, though, for noting what few other news outlets ever do – but which LDV always does – the view of the Electoral Commission when they investigated this donation years ago:

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.”