Investors to sue Ingenious Media over film schemes

A group of 122 investors including 45 Premier League footballers is suing Ingenious Media over its film investment schemes, reports Calum Fuller

Along with the Ingenious group of companies, three of directors, including founder Patrick McKenna are facing proceedings over film investment schemes which took place between 2000 and 2013, according to Peters & Peters, the law firm representing the investors.

In addition, claims are being brought against professional agents and financial advisers who sold, recommended or marketed the investments, as well as certain banks who financed them. The lawyers argue that as a result of these mis-sold schemes, investors now face a significant tax liability.

Ingenious has fought several cases in the tax tribunals over its film and video game investment schemes. In May 2017, it announced it was appealing an August 2016 first-tier tribunal ruling over disputed tax and interest amounting to approximately £1bn. That case involved investments in a range of movies, including the blockbusters Avatar, Life of Pi and Die Hard 4. 

Jonathan Tickner, partner at Peters & Peters, said: ‘Investors have all suffered significant financial losses as a result of these schemes being mis-sold to them as legitimate opportunities in which to invest in film or other media businesses.

‘They were misinformed that the tax reliefs had been approved by HMRC and were permitted by law. This is particularly hard for sporting professionals whose earning potential is at its peak for only a few years. A number of those affected are now facing bankruptcy.’

Miles Dean, managing partner of Milestone Tax, warned that many investors will have signed waivers, and as such the burden of proof will be ‘very high’.

A spokesperson for Ingenious Media said: ‘These claims are without merit and will be vigorously defended.’

Report by Calum Fuller

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