Ex-colonel denies claiming allowances to pay children's school fees 

A senior British Army officer who was deputy director of the Government’s task force has denied fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds in allowances to pay his children’s private school fees.

Marcus Reedman, 51, has denied falsely claiming more than £43,000 in school fees as he appeared at Southwark Crown Court today.

The retired colonel was a lieutenant colonel at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) building in Whitehall at the time of the allegations – between October 1 2016 and August 17 2017.

Reedman, from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, faces one charge of fraud relating to Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) claims in relation to three payments totalling exactly £43,470. 

It is alleged that the retired colonel, whose last post was deputy director of the Covid-19 taskforce as acting brigadier, used these payments to pay his three children’s £75,000-a-year private school fees – which matched his Army salary.

Marcus Reedman, 51 (pictured with David Cameron in 2014) is charged with falsely claiming more than £43,000 in allowances to pay school fees 

Today, Reedman appeared at Southwark Crown Court (pictured above) where he pleaded not guilty to a single count of fraud 

Prosecutors said that he also failed to declare that he was serving unaccompanied at his residence at work address (RWA) in Biggin Hill, south-east London.

This is while his wife, Astrid Reedman, lived at the family home in Rye, East Sussex.

Last year Reedman was last year charged with fraud relating to three CEA payments totalling £43,470 over the course of a single school year.

Following this, in wearing a plain grey jumper and jeans, speaking only to confirm his name. 

The allowances he used was aimed at enabling children of service personnel to remain at the same schools to allow their serving parents to be accompanied by their spouses as they were posted to different locations.

However, the Continuity of Education Allowance payments come with conditions.

For example, rules state that the spouse must not be away from the RWA for more than 90 days per year.   

Today, Reedman appeared at Southwark Crown Court where he pleaded not guilty to a single count of fraud.

The indictment alleges that he dishonestly failed to disclose to the MoD that he was serving unaccompanied at his RWA from October 1 2017.

It says the information “had an effect on (his) eligibility to claim CEA which (he) was under a legal duty to disclose”. 

During his career, Reedman has previously been pictured alongside the King – who was then the Prince of Wales – and the then-Prime Minister, David Cameron.

A date has been set for Reedman’s trial, estimated to take two weeks.

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