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Financial adviser jailed for film tax fraud

A former financial adviser has been sentenced to six years in prison for a conspiracy to cheat HM Revenue & Customs out of £2.2 million.

Financial adviser jailed for film tax fraud

A former financial adviser has been jailed for six years after being found guilty of conspiracy to cheat HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) out of £2.2 million through a film scheme.

Neil Williams-Denton (pictured), who was a director at Greystone Financial Services at the time of his arrest in 2012, was jailed along with Terence Potter, a film producer and former accountant at Ernst & Young, for selling and promoting schemes devised by Potter which created artificial loses to offset against tax bills.

Potter was given an eight-year sentence.

The schemes were designed to give tax rebates to people who invested in film production. However, to earn the rebates people who took part in the scheme had to prove they were actively involved in the production of the films by working 10 hours a week.

In order for the schemes to operate as a legitimate film partnerships and receive an additional tax rebate, the partners had to prove they spent at least 10 hours a week on the projects. HMRC argued that the defendants conspired to produce false documents to show they had done so.

New Model Adviser® understands that Williams-Denton will now appeal the judgment. The appeal is likely to take place in 2016, but the grounds on which it will be made are still to be finalised.

In September Williams-Denton was convicted on another count of conspiracy to cheat HMRC, which will also be appealed. That verdict was subject to reporting restrictions so as not to prejudice the jury’s verdict in the later trial, which concluded earlier this month.

3 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Hampshire cynic.

Dec 21, 2015 at 18:13

The sooner HMRC causes it to be impossible for these sorts of dodgy schemes to exist, the better.

If any or every 'advisor' found guilty of giving such advice had to refund any fees charged, they might not keep trying it on, and an automatic banning for life from their profession as well as a period at HM's pleasure might just boost the tax take.

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David Andrews

Dec 21, 2015 at 19:24

How can you "ban" any scheme ? If you issue 100 pages of regulation this makes it easier to attack one line of detail.

If you issue general directions such as " any actions designed to evade taxation due ..", then this will generally have to be settled in court according to the finances or desire of the tax-payers to defend their position

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Hampshire cynic.

Dec 21, 2015 at 20:04

That as may be David.

My understanding is that Inland Revenue Commissioners have some pretty heavy powers which require the taxpayer thought to be evading tax to prove their innocence. Surely, those taxpayers 'winning' should lead to an immediate review of the law to close down dodgy schemes with ever increasing penalties both legal and financial.

I for one do not see why I should pay my tax whilst over paid footballers and others get away with avoiding their moral responsibilities to pay into the nation's coffers.

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