Ex-UKIP aide jailed after FBI crime sting

Cottrell was arrested whilst travelling with former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, pictured. Mr Farage has since distanced himself from Cottrell.
Cottrell was arrested whilst travelling with former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, pictured. Mr Farage has since distanced himself from Cottrell.

A former aide to Nigel Farage has been jailed for eight months in the US after pleading guilty to fraud.

George Cottrell, 23, known as George Cotrel in court documents, has been in custody since his arrest in July.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of wire fraud on December 19 after admitting attempting to defraud criminals online by masquerading as a money launderer.

At a district court in Phoenix, Arizona, judge Diane Humetewa sentenced Cottrell to eight months and ordered him to pay 30,000 dollars (£24,350).

Cottrell will receive credit for time served.

Undercover agents, claiming to be drug dealers, began communicating with Cottrell in March 2014 after responding to an advert for money laundering services.

Cottrell proposed ways to “disguise their drug profits, evade federal income taxes, and promote the continuation of their drug business”, court documents show.

Cottrell was arrested in Chicago as he and Nigel Farage travelled back to Britain after a trip.

Cottrell’s uncle, Lord Hesketh, formerly worked for Margaret Thatcher, and later defected to Ukip.