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Film producer guilty of VAT fraud

Richard Driscoll, the producer of the first modern British film to be shot in 3D (Eldorado), has been found guilty of a £1.5 million VAT fraud.

Driscoll falsified invoices for the costs of making films in order to reclaim VAT back that he was not entitled to and set up a number of associated companies that were used purely to commit the crime.

Driscoll owned a film studio in Cornwall where the films were made. The claims for repayment of £1.5 million VAT was based on production costs of more than £9 million but investigators found that the costs were actually less than £1 million. Bogus invoices were sent to support the false repayment claims and other invoices were genuine but had their values inflated.

Paul Barton, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“HMRC investigators have unravelled a complex and organised VAT fraud. Driscoll knew that he was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the UK taxpayer.”

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“Tax fraud is a serious offence and HMRC will continue to seek out those who attempt to commit these crimes and bring them to justice. I urge anyone with information about people or businesses involved in tax fraud to contact HMRC’s Tax Evasion hotline on 0800 788 887.”

If you need any help and advice for your business on Corporation Tax or personal tax, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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