Brexit campaign group Vote Leave has been fined £61,000 and is now under police investigation by Scotland Yard after an Electoral Commission probe said it broke electoral law.
According to the BBC, it got around spending limits by funnelling cash through pro-Brexit youth group BeLeave.
The founder of BeLeave, Darren Grimes, has been fined £20,000 and reported to the police, after being found to have committed two breaches: as a non-registered campaigner, his spending limit was £10,000 and he wrongly reported the £675,000 as his own expenditure.
David Halsall, who was the “responsible person” for Vote Leave has also been referred to the Met. If found guilty of knowingly or recklessly false declarations on spending, both Grimes and Halsall could face up to a year in jail.
The campaign, which was fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, has also passed on files, compiled as part of the investigation, to the Metropolitan Police in relation to other possible offences committed by individuals which fell outside of the commission’s remit.
Both the police and commission, which took evidence from whistleblowers, were keeping details secret as the material was examined. The commission’s investigation centred on whether BeLeave spent money on behalf of the lead Brexit organisation, Vote Leave, to avoid it breaching its £7 million referendum spending limit.
The result of the referendum was 51.9% for Leave and 48.1% for Remain. The UK is due to officially leave the European Union at 23:00 GMT on 29th March, 2019.
A Met Spokesman said: “Once the Electoral Commission has provided all the relevant material to the MPS, this matter will be assessed by officers from the Met’s Special Inquiry Team.”