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Film industry fraud - Isle of Man link

A woman who used a scheme designed to boost the United Kingdom film Industry to fraudulently obtain repayments of more than £4 million in VAT has been sent to jail.

Elizabeth Mary Matthews ran the Peakviewing Group of companies, with three of its firms in the Isle of Man and seven in England.

From 1999 to 2002 she manipulated the business affairs of her group of companies to get repayments of VAT to which she was not entitled, and which she then used to prop up the finances of her business.

The scheme involved the production of invoices and credit notes at times to coincide with the returns that the individual companies had to make to Customs and Excise in respect of VAT.

It involved making use of the companies in England and the Isle of Man in order to create a circularity in sales and purchases in such a way as to allow the group overall to benefit from repayments of VAT.

The Peakviewing Group of companies, including the Isle of Man companies, were run from offices in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire. The Group purported to be involved in film productions costing over £275 million between 1999 and 2002.

Bristol Crown Court (pictured) heard that over the period in question the amount reclaimed by the Group of companies from Customs in the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man amounted to £39 million.

Ms Mathews was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.

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