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Adviser among 13 charged over £2.5m tax fraud

The Crown Prosecution Service has charged 13 people, including two employees of a chartered adviser firm and seven investment bankers, in connection with a £2.5m tax fraud.

Greystone Financial Services director Neil Williams-Denton and deputy administration manager Elspeth Mundy and 11 others are alleged to have been involved in a complex film scheme designed for the purpose of claiming tax relief through losses incurred by various partnerships.

10 of the defendants have been charged with submitting false tax returns to claim tax relief for a now dissolved partnership Edinburgh and Walsh LLP.

Seven of the defendants are charged with committing a similar fraud relating to Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan LLP.

Of the 13 being investigated, two are facing three charges of conspiracy to cheat HMRC. Two more face two counts, while the remaining nine individuals are charged with one count of the same offence.

CPS deputy head of fraud Andrew Penhale says: “Following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs, the CPS has authorised charges against three women and 10 men in connection with allegations that they conspired to cheat the revenue out of £2.5m of tax.

“None of the individuals had any background in film development.”

Claims firm Rebus is representing 13 investors with claims totalling over £10m relating to a similar film scheme. 

Rebus head of client relations Martin Taylor says: “These charges will have shocked and caused concern for people who have invested in film schemes in good faith.”

Greystone Financial Services was unavailable for comment.

Page Russell director Tim Page says: “The public perception of tax avoidance is changing and we must be careful not to condemn actions too hastily which a few years ago would have been regarded as acceptable.”

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