Natalie McGarry admitted two charges of embezzlement from her party and a pro-independence organisation when she appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Wednesday 24 April 2019.
Prosecutors accepted Ms McGarry’s not guilty pleas to two of the four charges against her; another embezzlement charge, as well as a charge of failure to disclose “encrypted electronic data” when she refused to provide police with the passcode for a mobile phone they seized.
In 2017, Ms McGarry was charged by police over alleged fraud relating to potential missing funds from Women For Independence (WFI) – a campaign group she helped set up in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum – and Glasgow Regional Association.
Ms McGarry was one of 56 SNP MPs elected to the Commons in the 2015 general election, but resigned from the party whip six months later when the allegations were first made against her. Born in Inverkeithing, Fife, Ms McGarry represented Glasgow East for two years before standing down in the 2017 general election.
She embezzled £21,000 from the WFI group in her role as treasurer of the organisation. Between April 2013 and November 2015, Ms McGarry transferred fundraising money into her personal bank accounts that was intended for a food bank in Perth and Kinross as well as the inmate rights group Positive Prison, Positive Futures.
As treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional SNP Association, Ms McGarry also admitted embezzling £4,661.02 between April 2014 and August 2015.
The 37-year-old had denied all charges against her until pleading guilty to two of them on Wednesday afternoon when she represented herself in court.
Through the Proceeds of Crime Act, the crown has indicated it will attempt to recover the embezzled money. The case has been adjourned until 1 May 2019.
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