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Former politician jailed for embezzlement

A 37 year-old woman has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment after embezzling money from two Glasgow based organisations.

Natalie McGarry or Meikle admitted taking over £25,000 while involved with two pro-independence organisations between April 2013 and November 2015.

The former politician pled guilty to embezzling £21,000 from Women for Independence (WFI), a group she helped found, in her role as treasurer. The embezzlement was discovered when WFI noticed discrepancies in its accounts.

The court heard that McGarry had transferred money from fundraising events and intended for the Perth and Kinross Food Bank and Positive Prisons, Positive Futures charities into her own bank accounts. She also used cheques drawn on the WFI bank account to deposit money into her accounts.

McGarry also admitted embezzling £4,661.02 in the course of her role as treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the Scottish National Party between April 2014 and August 2015.

Some of the money was taken while she was a sitting Member of Parliament for Glasgow East.

Jennifer Harrower, Procurator Fiscal for Specialist Casework, said:

“Natalie McGarry took advantage of being in a position of trust and responsibility within the community to embezzle cash for her own gain. Her deception led to a significant sum being diverted from charity into her own bank account.

“We take such criminality very seriously and will not stop at prosecution. Proceeds of Crime proceedings have now been commenced to ensure profits obtained through criminal conduct are confiscated from those who do not deserve them.”