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Celebrities and footballers ‘victims of £125m film investment tax fraud’

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A number of celebrities, bankers and football stars have been caught up in an alleged £125m tax fraud that revolved around film investments.

According to the Mail on Sunday, West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce, Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell and pop singers Mike Skinner of The Streets and Damon Gough, also known as Badly Drawn Boy, invested in the scheme.

City figures including Caspar Shand Kydd, nephew of Princess Diana’s stepfather Peter Shand Kydd, also put money into the film investment scheme, the paper says.

Last month, the Crown Prosecution Service charged five people said to be behind the alleged frauds. They were named as Keith Hayley, Robert Bevan, Charles Savill, Cyril Megret and Norman Leighton.

It is alleged between January 2002 and July 2011, the five abused tax relief that allows investors in the British film industry to offset losses against other tax liabilities.

The CPS alleges the five falsely claimed the value of allowable losses and defrauded investors through false accounting documents.

All five have been summoned to appear before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on 18 June.

Companies House records show the celebrities were investors, the Mail on Sunday says. There is no suggestion they were aware of the alleged fraud, while the CPS says investors in the scheme were also victims.

Some investors are pursuing their financial advisers for a total of £12m after they were advised to invest in the scheme but claim they were not made aware of the risks involved. The highest individual claim is for £1.8m.

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