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Fraudulent Applications Land Vessel Owners a Fine

Sustainability Economics Politics +4 more

UK - Two fishing vessel owners were ordered to pay 7,900 by Newcastle upon Tyne Magistrates' Court on Wednesday 11 September for making fraudulent grant applications to the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

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Mr Grahame Elliott, owner of the Elizabeth Jade (BH462) and Mr Steven Marson, owner of the Eydent (BCK30), had both applied for EFF grants to purchase pots, ropes and buoys. Mr Elliott also applied for safety rails to be fitted to his vessel.

The alleged offences, discovered following a Marine Management Organisation (MMO) investigation, relate to invoices submitted to MMO that differed from the actual amounts both men paid to suppliers. Both men entered early guilty pleas.

Mr Marson was ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation to MMO, given a nominal fine of £250, a victim surcharge of £15 and £1,156 in costs, totalling £6,421.

Mr Elliott had already voluntarily paid back the full grant amount (£15,959). In addition to this he was ordered to pay a nominal fine of £334, a victim surcharge of £15 and £1,156 in costs, totalling £17,464.

The EFF scheme is administered by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) in England and is providing around £38 million to help the fishing industry to become more sustainable and to remain profitable. Funding is still available through the scheme, which runs until the end of 2013.

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