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Nigel Farage aide could face 20 years in prison

3rd Jan 17 9:45 am

George Cottrell was arrested in July last year…

A senior aide to the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage faces 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to masterminding a scam to extort money from drug dealers.

George Cottrell, 22, was arrested back in July when both he and Farage were disembarking from a plane at Chicago O’Hare airport.

He was extradited to Arizona and has been behind bars since.

He once ran Farage’s private office and was also part of Ukip’s media team.

On the so-called dark web, he posed under the name of “Bill” where he was contacted by undercover FBI operatives who posed as drug traffickers.

They proposed to send him between $50,000 and $150,000 of drug money each month.

Court documents also said he had arranged for the agents to send him £15,500 which he intended to keep for himself.

He also demanded £62,000 in bitcoin and threatened to alert the authorities.

In his plea agreement, seen by The Mirror, he admitted: “I falsely claimed that I would launder the criminal proceeds through my bank accounts for a fee.”

“Rather than launder any of the money, though … I intended to retain the money.”

Cottrell was originally charged with 21 counts of fraud, money laundering and extortion.

After pleading not guilty to all of these, prosecutors agreed to drop all but one, wire fraud, this would be in exchange for a guilty plea.

He’s set to be sentenced in March and could face up to 20 years in prison and could also be fined $250,000.

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