Tax Rebates & Refunds

Fraudsters jailed for film tax rebate scam

April 5, 2013
Posted in Fraud, Tax Rebates — Written by Geoffrey

Five fraudsters who pretended to make a Hollywood film in order to claim tax rebates have been handed prison sentences totalling 20 years.

In order to benefit from a government scheme to promote UK film-making, in which film and TV productions receive tax rebates and VAT repayments, the team of five people came up with fake scripts and production documents. The aim was to fool HMRC inspectors that they were making a £20 million Hollywood blockbuster, and the team even told tax officials that Hollywood A-listers such as Jeremy Irons were to star in the UK-shot gangster film.

Only seven minutes of footage was actually shot, although when HMRC became suspicious of the £2,781,910 in tax rebates claimed by the team in just one year, the fraudsters tried to cover their tracks by actually releasing a low-budget thriller on DVD in 2011.

Sentencing the five, who included Bashar Al-Issa and Aoife Madden from London, Tariq Hassan from Essex, Osama Al Baghdady from Manchester and Ian Sherwood from Cheshire, Judge Juliet May said:

“This was a sophisticated, detailed fraudulent project involving the deployment of considerable amounts of false documentation,”

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