Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry denies embezzling more than £25,000 from pro-independence groups

McGarry, 39, is accused of appropriating £21,000 for her own use in her role as treasurer of the Women for Independence group between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 2:17 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th September 2020, 6:22 am

A former SNP MP has denied embezzling thousands of pounds from two pro-independence groups.

Natalie McGarry faced two embezzlement charges (for more than £25,000) when she appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday, September 16.

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McGarry, 39, is accused of appropriating £21,000 for her own use in her role as treasurer of the Women for Independence group between April 26 2013 and November 30 2015.

Natalie McGarry: former SNP MP denies embezzling more than £25,000 from Yes groups picture: John Devlin

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She is accused of failing to transfer charitable donations raised by the group to Perth and Kinross Foodbank and to Positive Prisons, Positive Futures.

It is alleged she transferred funds raised through fundraising events on behalf of Women for Independence into her own personal bank account and used cheques drawn on the organisation's bank account to deposit money in her own personal bank accounts.

McGarry is also accused of embezzling £4,661.02 for her own use from the Glasgow Regional Association of the Scottish National Party between April 9 2014 and August 10 the following year.

Glasgow Sheriff Court

It is alleged that in the course of her roles as treasurer, secretary and convener of the association she used cheques drawn on bank accounts held in its name to pay expenses it had not incurred and retained reimbursements to which she was not entitled.

The indictment also alleges she used cheques drawn on bank accounts held in the association's name to deposit money in her own personal bank accounts and transferred funds donated to the association through its website into her own bank accounts.

Allan Macleod, representing McGarry, entered not guilty pleas to both charges on her behalf when she appeared in the dock on Wednesday.

The case has been continued until a further hearing on November 11.

Ms McGarry was elected as an SNP member in 2015 but resigned the party whip after the emergence of fraud allegations - which she denied.

She continued in Parliament as an independent representing Glasgow East but did not seek re-election in 2017.

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