Major General Nick Welch sentenced to 21 months in jail over £48k school fee fraud

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A former Army major general has been jailed for 21 months for falsely claiming allowances to pay for his children’s schooling.

Major General Nick Welch, 57, was convicted of dishonestly and fraudulently claiming £48,000 in allowances to pay for this children’s boarding fees.

Judge Advocate General Alan Large and a panel of senior officers jailed Welch after a four-week court martial trial at Bulford Military Court

Welch, who left the army in 2018, was also hit with a retrospective dismissal from the Army, which means he can no longer benefit from his rank of retired major general.

He has also been ordered to pay back the fraudulently claimed money.

Welch is the most senior officer to face a court martial since 1815.

The court heard he had applied for allowances under the Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) scheme to ensure his children could remain at school in Dorset while he and his wife were posted in London.

Between 2015 and 2017, he successfully applied for his children to stay at the £37,000-a-year Clayesmore School and £22,500-a-year Hanford School, while he and his wife lived in Putney, southwest London.

The court heard that Mrs Welch, 54, spent more of her time at the family’s Dorset home, not in London.

CEO rules state that a spouse must not be away from the work address for more than 90 days.

Authorities triggered an investigation in February 2017 after a neighbour flagged that the Welch family were not at their Lonfon home .

Welch denied the allegation and said he had complied with the rules.