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 a complex film scheme designed for the purpose of claiming tax relief through losses incurred by various partnerships.
Ten 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 the revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. 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 HMRC, the CPS has authorised charges against three women and ten men in connection with allegations that they conspired to cheat the revenue out of £2.5m of tax, via a complex film scheme designed for that purpose. All thirteen individuals have been summonsed to appear before City of London Magistrates’ Court.
“Seven of the thirteen individuals were investment bankers and none had any background in film development, the trading business for which both partnerships were apparently set up.”
HMRC director of criminal investigation Donald Toon says: “HMRC carried out a thorough investigation and the matter will now be put before the Courts.
“The vast majority of people pay the tax they owe, but for those we suspect may not be, no matter who you are or what your profession, it’s only right we investigate.”
Claims firm Rebus is representing 13 investors with claims relating to a similar film scheme, who have claims in excess of £10m.
Rebus head of client relations Martin Taylor says: “Today’s charges will have both shocked and caused concern for those people who have invested in film schemes in good faith.
“The group of people facing the charges includes not only the investors in the structure, but various financial advisers, as well as the scheme promoter.”
Greystone Financial Services was unavailable for comment.