5 jailed in UK for inventing movie in tax scam

LONDON (AP) — Five people have been jailed in Britain for pretending to make a Hollywood movie in a scam to defraud tax authorities of millions of pounds.

The fraudsters were convicted earlier this month of attempting to bilk the government of 2.8 million pounds ($4.2 million) in a plot reminiscent of the Academy Award-winning hit "Argo" — but without that movie's heroic hostage rescue.

Prosecutors said the fraudsters claimed to be producing a made-in-Britain movie with unnamed A-list actors and a 19 million-pound budget. But officials say the project was a sham to claim back millions in taxes.

Bashar Al-Issa, described as the leader of the fraud, was jailed Monday for six and a half years. The others were sentenced to around four years each.

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