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Coffee House

Police drop investigation into Grant Shapps’ former business

1 November 2013

5:01 PM

1 November 2013

5:01 PM

One of the stranger rows since the Coalition formed has been over Tory chairman Grant Shapps/Michael Green, and whether or not businesses he ran before entering politics were engaged in unlawful activity. How To Corp, which Shapps founded before passing his share to his wife in 2008, sold a software called TrafficPaymaster, which copied content from other websites so that clients could make more money from Google advertising. Labour MP Steve McCabe complained about the firm to Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer and the Metropolitan Police, and today the Met have responded.

The letter, which you can read in full here, says that while legal advice to the Met’s Special Enquiry Team ‘concluded that the selling of the software may constitute an offence of fraud, amongst others’, after fully assessing the case, the MPS ‘have decided not to instigate a criminal investigation and have now closed this matter’. It adds:

‘I must advise you that Google, the Federation Against Software Theft, the Intellectual Property Office and the Publishers Association were all contacted in the course of the assessment and made aware of the nature of the allegation. Mr Steve McCabe MP, who made the initial allegations, will be informed of our decision.’

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