ELEVEN senior military personnel being investigated over school frauds

Revealed: ELEVEN senior military personnel are being investigated over possible boarding school frauds as police carry out new probes after a Major General claimed nearly £50,000 in school allowances

  • Investigations come after a Major General was jailed for 21 months for claims
  • The value of the suspected frauds is believed to be more than £400,000
  • Defence Minister Leo Docherty told of the 11 probes to the House of Commons
  • That number is believed to include Brigadier Jo Butterfill, who won a Military Cross for leading his soldiers in battle against the Taliban in 2009 
  • In June Lt Col Adam Roberts was convicted of fraudulently claiming more than £44,000 to send two of his children to a boarding school 

Defence officials are investigating 11 cases of boarding school fraud by military personnel, it can be revealed.

Military Police are carrying out the separate probes after a Major General was jailed for 21 months for claiming nearly £50,000 in school allowances.

Defence chiefs revealed that there are now 11 further probes going on into servicemen suspected of wrongly claiming thousands to send their children to private schools.

Major Jo Butterfill,  who is believed to be one of the 11 senior military personnel being investigated, holds his Military Cross for leading his soldiers in battle against the Taliban in 2009. He is the commanding officer of the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade based in Bulford

The value of the suspected frauds is believed to be more than £400,000, based on two recent cases which have led to convictions.

The personnel are being scrutinised over their claims for Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) which allows children to remain at the same schools while their parents – one of whom must be serving in the military – are posted to different locations in the UK and overseas.

It cannot be claimed if a soldier’s spouse is away from the military home for more than 90 days a year.

Defence Minister Leo Docherty said in a written answer in the House of Commons: ‘The number of Service personnel currently under investigation, as at 19 July for suspected CEA fraud is 11.’

That number is believed to include Brigadier Jo Butterfill, who won a Military Cross for leading his soldiers in battle against the Taliban in 2009, who was named as being under investigation for a suspected fraud last month.

Brig Butterfill is the commanding officer of the 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade based in Bulford, Wiltshire, where he has more than 1,000 soldiers under his command.​

The probe into Brigadier Butterfill follows the case of Maj Gen Nick Welch (pictured), 57, who was the most senior officer to be court martialled since 1815. He was was jailed for 21 months for claiming nearly £50,000 in school allowances

Defence Minister Leo Docherty (pictured) said in a written answer in the House of Commons: ‘The number of Service personnel currently under investigation, as at 19 July for suspected CEA fraud is 11.’

He was presented with his Military Cross by the Prince of Wales. He fought in Afghanistan at the height of the conflict in 2009, a year when 95 British soldiers were killed.

The probe into Brigadier Butterfill follows the case of Maj Gen Nick Welch, 57, who was the most senior officer to be court martialled since 1815.

He was found guilty of dishonestly claiming £48,000 under the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA).

In June Lt Col Adam Roberts was convicted of fraudulently claiming more than £44,000 to send two of his children to a boarding school. In Suffolk. He was given a 20-month prison sentence and dismissed from the military after a 21-year army career.

Defence Minister Leo Doherty added: ‘CEA is available to all Service personnel, irrespective of rank, subject to them satisfying the qualifying criteria. 

‘Service personnel may select from a wide variety of schools across the UK from within the independent and state-maintained sectors that meet set criteria.’ 

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