Five people in Britain face jail sentences after being convicted this week of attempting to bilk the government of 2.8 million pounds ($4.2 million) in a moviemaking scam reminiscent of Academy Award-winning hit "Argo" - without the heroic hostage rescue.A government-funded project that turned out to be a scam? Thank goodness that would never happen here...
Prosecutors and tax authorities say the fraudsters claimed to be producing a made-in-Britain movie with unnamed A-list actors and a 19 million-pound budget supplied by a Jordanian firm.
In fact, officials say, the project was a sham, set up to claim almost 1.5 million pounds in goods and services tax for work that had not been done, as well as 1.3 million pounds under a government program that allows filmmakers to claim back up to 25 percent of their expenditure as tax relief.
Britain's tax agency, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, said that the filmmakers had submitted paperwork and already received 1.7 million pounds when checks revealed "that the work had not been done and most of the so-called suppliers and film studios had never heard of the gang."
Friday, March 15, 2013
Art For Fraud's Sake
Witness the result of subsidized art: