UK film producer Richard Driscoll sentenced today for £1.5m VAT fraud

Driscoll falsified invoices for the costs of making films, starring Peter O'Toole and David Carradine

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The Independent Online

A British film producer is set to be sentenced today after he was found guilty of a £1.5 million VAT fraud.

Richard Driscoll, 53, claimed he incurred production costs of more than £9 million across a number of different films when the actual costs were less than £1 million, HMRC said.

These films included 2012's horror comedy Eldorado, which was the first British film to be shot in 3D and the last to star David Carradine, best-known for roles in 1970s TV series Kung Fu and in the title role of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies. It also featured Daryl Hannah, Peter O’Toole and former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy.

Driscoll lives in Helston, Cornwall, and based production in his film studios in Redruth. He used falsified invoices to support the false repayment claims, as well as inflating the value of genuine invoices.

The fraud took place between January 2009 and September 2011.

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.

“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."