Bashar al-Issa Convicted of Tax Fraud in the UK
by Alan Bedenko (@BuffaloPundit) - posted 12:30 pm, March 14, 2013
From the Glasgow Daily Record, we learn that,
LOOSE Women star Andrea McLean was offered a big movie break – and became an unwitting pawn in a multi-million tax scam.
The Scots former weathergirl was cast as a bisexual therapist in gritty gangster film A Landscape of Lies.
But she was unaware the production – which also featured equally unsuspecting former EastEnder Marc Bannerman – was being hastily shot to get the taxman off the conmen producers’ trail.
The fraudsters, fronted by redheaded actress Aiofe Madden, 31, had told the tax authorities her company, Evolved Pictures, were making a £20million film.
They hoped to claim £2.8million in tax credits and VAT repayments and had raked in £1million in tax credits before HMRC swooped and arrested them.
Then, in a farcical attempt to cover their tracks, they hastily recruited an unsuspecting crew and cast and shot their film in four months.
But the shoestring effort they produced for just £100,000 bore no relation to the ambitious plans they had submitted – and the taxmen saw through the ruse.
Yesterday, at Southwark Crown Court in London, bankrupt Iraqi building company boss Bashar Al-Issa, 33, was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.
His accomplices Tariq Hassan, 51, Osama Al-Baghdady, 50, and Ian Sherwood, 53, were each found guilty of a single count of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.
Mr. Issa came to Buffalo in a flourish several years ago, buying the Statler Towers and pledging to restore them to their former grandeur. He sought no public money and was greeted as a hero. He pledged that he would build the tallest skyscraper in Buffalo just off Niagara Square, and proposed an underground parking garage under the square to accommodate visitors’ parking needs. He even promised that a speedboat he bought would be available for the use of Statler guests and residents.