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Five face charges in £125m film scheme tax fraud

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The Crown Prosecution Service has announced it is to prosecute five men in relation to a £125m film tax avoidance scheme.

Following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, CPS deputy head of fraud Andrew Penhale confirmed charges have been authorised against Keith Hayley, Robert Bevan, Charles Savill, Cyril Megret and Norman Leighton.

It is alleged between January 2002 and July 2011, the five abused a 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.

Penhale says: “Keith Hayley, Robert Bevan, Charles Savill, Cyril Megret and Norman Leighton will each face three charges: conspiracy to cheat the public revenue, conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to falsify documents.

“We have determined that there is a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”

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

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