Hundreds of top British cops defrauded the taxpayer for millions in phony expense racket

Here's a neat companion story to the nation-rocking news that UK Members of Parliament have used their expense accounts to commit massive acts of fraud against the taxpayer: it turns out that Scotland Yard's top detectives have been doing the exact same thing, charging millions to their official AmEx cards, taking huge cash-advances at ATMs, buying clothes for their girlfriends, charging custom-made suits bought from mail-order bespoke tailors, etc. One officer charged £40,000 to his card in a single year. These were elite cops from special units — including the anti-terror squad, whose members are charged with inflating their expenses from investigating the 7/7 bombings.

"It beggars belief that our police, who are supposed to be solving crime, are suspected of fraud on a grand scale."

Auditors at the Metropolitan Police Authority have spent two years examining receipts from the accounts of more than 3,500 officers. The Amex cards were issued in 2006 to detectives from specialist operations, which includes counter-terrorism and those involved in diplomatic and royalty protection.

The scheme was then extended to the specialist crime directorate, which counters organised crime, as well as conducting sensitive inquiries such as the cash-for-honours investigation…

Sources have told the Observer that some detectives had fallen into the habit of withdrawing hundreds of pounds at a time from cashpoints. Other officers appear to have filled in blank receipts from restaurants to account for cash payments.

Card fraud probe targets 300 detectives