Chris Huhne faces demands to pay more than £110,000 run up by police and prosecutors as a result of the "scandalous" way he conducted his defence.
The disgraced LibDem MP and former Energy Secretary held up proceedings by months and made detectives conduct fruitless inquiries as he tried to have the charge of perverting the course of justice thrown out.
All the while Huhne knew he was guilty of forcing his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, to take his speeding points so he would not lose his licence, Southwark Crown Court heard on Monday. He showed "selective amnesia" in police interviews and conducted a media campaign to "deflect" the allegations and save his career, said Andrew Edis QC, prosecuting.
Ten years to the day after he was clocked in his BMW by a speed camera on the M11 in Essex, Huhne, 58, will wake up in a cell at Wandsworth Prison on Tuesday, to begin an eight-month sentence.
The one-time Liberal Democrat leadership hopeful is the first former Cabinet minister to be jailed since Jonathan Aitken in 1999.
The judge, Justice Sweeney, said that Huhne had "fallen from a great height" but had only got there by hiding the serious offence of having Pryce, 60, take his penalty points. It was exposed after he had an affair and ended his marriage, leading Pryce to tell newspapers about the points in revenge.
The judge said, "Despite your high office you, Chris Huhne, tried to lie your way out of trouble by claiming that you were innocent, by repeating that lie again and again."
In an earlier official statement to court Huhne had said he could "state unequivocally" that he had never asked anyone to take responsibility for a speeding offence for him. He then made numerous applications for the case to be thrown out.
Only when the judge had rejected these attempts to escape prosecution altogether did Huhne change his plea to guilty on what would have been the first day of his trial early last month.
The cost to the Crown Prosecution Service had been pounds 79,015, plus pounds 38,544 to prosecute Pryce, the court heard.
Police ran up a bill of £31,000 when at Huhne's behest they investigated the role of Constance Briscoe. Miss Briscoe, a prominent black barrister and part-time judge, could herself face trial over allegations that she lied to police about her part in exposing him.
Huhne also insisted that police should look into whether a female detective involved in investigating him had "inappropriate contact" with Miss Briscoe. An investigation found no evidence.
Mr Edis said, "In certain respects, the conduct of his defence could properly be described as scandalous."
How much Huhne should pay will be decided at a later hearing.
Mr Edis said that Huhne's defence team had made public highly personal messages in which his youngest son, Peter, had voiced his anger at his father.
John Kelsey-Fry QC, mitigating for Huhne, said that he had "only himself to blame". But he said the politician had finally chosen to plead guilty and not cause further harm in a trial that "would have been a bloodbath".
In an interview hours before he was sentenced, Huhne apologised for telling so many lies and said he had hoped Pryce would not be found guilty, "for the sake of the family".
"I want, and have, to say sorry for not owning up when the story first came out … Lawmakers can be many things, but they cannot be lawbreakers," he told The Guardian.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said: "No one, no matter how high and mighty, is out of the reach of the justice system."