KPMG partner leaves firm over film scheme tax charges

THE former head of UK investment advisory at KPMG has quit the firm after he was named as one of ten charged for conspiring to cheat HMRC out of revenue through a tax relief film scheme.

Patrick McCoy, who headed up the Big Four’s investment advice and fiduciary management oversight teams, was charged alongside former Rangers adviser Richard Hughes and eight others by the CPS over a £134m film investment scheme.

The charges relate to a film scheme that was orchestrated by Zeus Partners, a firm that Hughes set up in 2006 separately to Zeus Capital, the finance corporation that was at the heart of the Rangers buyout.

The scheme gave the Zeus Partners’ 165 investors the opportunity to buy content from American motion picture firm Seven Arts Entertainment.

If the films were successful at the box office, investors would double their money. If the film tanked however, investors could write off the cost against their other income and claim tax relief. For example, an investor who spent £160,000 could then borrow a further £840,000 and claim back on the total £1m.

Hughes, McCoy and eight others have been charged by the CPS with “conspiracy to cheat” the revenue. They have been summoned to appear at Birmingham Magistrates on 23 February.

McCoy has now been removed from KPMG’s staff listing and stopped being a director of the company on January 13. Nick Evans, a partner in its Investment Advisory practice, will take over from McCoy as head of KPMG’s investment advice department.

A spokesperson for KPMG said: “We are aware that charges have been made against one of our former partners, following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, which relate to his personal tax affairs.

“The individual concerned is no longer a partner of the firm. It should be stressed that the matter does not relate to client work conducted by the partner or KPMG or to KPMG’s own affairs.”

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