Bosses at the Las Vegas Film Festival have withdrawn a top prize awarded to A Landscape Of Lies after discovering five of its moviemakers were involved in a major tax scam.
A group of entrepreneurs were accused of trying to con executives at U.K.'s HM Revenue and Customs into awarding them 2.7 million pounds ($4.3 million) in tax rebates for shooting a fake film with A-list stars in Britain.
Officials eventually became suspicious after no progress was made on the project, so the gang covered their tracks by shooting a low-budget movie about a Gulf War veteran, and the drama went on to win a Silver Ace Award at the Sin City event last year (12).
It has since emerged Bashar Al-Issa, Aoife Madden, Tariq Hassan, Ian Sherwood, and Osama Al Baghdady were all part of a fraudulent money scheme, and now a spokesperson for the festival reveals organisers have retracted their decision to present producers with the prestigious accolade.
A representative tells Reuters, "The acknowledgement has since been rescinded."
A Landscape of Lies featured U.K. Tv presenter Andrea MCLean and former EastEnders star Marc Bannerman.