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IFA boss and 12 others face £2.5m tax avoidance charges

IFA boss and 12 others face £2.5m tax avoidance charges

Director of advice firm Greystone Financial Services Neil Williams-Denton is one of 13 people to be charged with using a film-production scheme to avoid a combined £2.5 million in tax.

Following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised charges against three women and 10 men in connection with allegations they conspired to cheat the revenue out of tax with a ‘complex film scheme’.

The thirteen were charged at City of London Magistrates Court yesterday and are due to appear at Southwark Crown Court for a hearing on 13 February.

The CPS has alleged that between 1 January 2007 and 8 February 2012, 10 of the defendants conspired to submit false tax returns in order to claim tax relief on now dissolved partnership Edinburgh and Walsh’s losses. Of those 10, four were members of the partnership.

During the same period, seven of the 13 are also alleged to have conspired to commit a similar fraud relating to the firm Jenkins and Hyde and Maclellan. Of those seven, three were members of that partnership.

Williams-Denton and Elspeth Mundy, an admin manager at Greystone, face two counts of conspiracy to cheat the revenue.

Paul Schofield, a partner at Farleys Solicitors, who is representing Williams-Denton, said: ‘My client completely and utterly denies the charges brought. He is shocked by this prosecution and will vigorously contest the case. He is determined to establish his innocence and to retain his impeccable character and reputation.’

In order to claim the full amount of the losses each member has to demonstrate they were active partners, which HMRC regards as over 10 hours a week of activity.

Andrew Penhale, deputy head of fraud at the CPS, said: ‘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.’

Terence Potter and Kimberley Murphy face three charges of conspiracy to cheat the revenue, and the remaining nine individuals face one count of the same offence.

According to the Financial Services register, Assad Amin, Vincent Walsh and Jason Edinburgh worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) until 2012.

Hamish Maclellan, who was the head of international equity sales at US-based investment firm Jefferies, and former traders James Hyde and Phillip Jenkins were also charged.

Others charged include Christopher Atkins, Christine Slater and senior trader at Marex Spectron Securities, Michael Elsom.

Donald Toon, Director of Criminal Investigation at HMRC said: ‘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.’

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