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SL born Hollywood conman jailed in UK

26 June 2014 03:33 am - 14     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A Sri Lanka-born conman, claiming to be a Hollywood film producer, has been jailed for over three years after stealing 1.6 million pounds from United Kingdom taxpayers while living a life of luxury in the United States.

Damita Nikapota, 47, is believed to have spent the proceeds of his crime on a Hollywood lifestyle which included a Spanish-style villa in Malibu, California, and extensive travel to places such as the Cannes Film Festival and Sri Lanka.

Nikapota made a number of fraudulent Value Added Tax or VAT repayment claims beginning in 2006 via his Los Angeles-based film company, AS Productions Limited, for film production costs totalling more than 11 million pounds.

He claimed to be involved in, among other film projects, the production and filming of a movie called "The Flying Scotsman" in Britain.

Nikapota claimed his production costs included the employment of famous Hollywood actors and work on adaptations of books by well-known authors.

He also impersonated other Hollywood producers, some of them dead, when he contacted HM Revenue and Customs, in order to validate and progress his claims.

However, an HMRC investigation discovered that Nikapota had been removed from The Flying Scotsman film project and several of his companies linked to it were already in administration by 2005.

Nikapota was arrested by HMRC in April 2014, when he came to the UK for a short visit from Canada. He has been sent to jail for three years and eight months.

Joe Rawbone, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said, "As we delved deeper into these VAT claims, the stories Nikapota had told us began to unravel and the plot began to thicken. Every single claim and shred of paperwork submitted by this man was fictitious.

"Not only will he spend significant time behind bars, but he faces full confiscation proceedings to recover the money he stole from UK taxpayers. HMRC will continue to pursue fraudsters wherever they may be and make them face justice for perpetrating damaging attacks on the nation's finances." (NDTV)

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  Comments - 14

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  • sk Thursday, 26 June 2014 05:43 AM

    Miracle in UK also ha ha ha

    Ahmed Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:05 AM

    SL is full of conmen.. this is no surprise! Just look at our politicians

    Gemini Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:09 AM

    He certainly met the qualifications of a Sri Lankan minister

    Mushtaq Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:19 AM

    Multiple Oscar winning actor !!

    Andrew Pitugala Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:20 AM

    That will be his next block buster Movie.

    Mason Thursday, 26 June 2014 07:00 AM

    Cannot Sri Lankan Bribe taking politicians be prosecuted in this manner.

    Concerned Thursday, 26 June 2014 07:18 AM

    That's just one caught in UK. We have so many here free!

    zuh Thursday, 26 June 2014 01:21 PM

    after the jail terms he can become a minister in srilanka via DM Android App

    Mutu Thursday, 26 June 2014 08:00 AM

    This man has robbed UK tax payers. Here in SL who robs whom....?

    Nanda Thursday, 26 June 2014 09:50 AM

    [quote name="Ahmed"]SL is full of conmen.. this is no surprise! Just look at our politicians[/quote]
    It is in Sri Lankan blood for generations

    O'Conner Thursday, 26 June 2014 06:06 PM

    SL is a nation of con men. Pseudo nationalists patriots warriors doctors leftists artists diplomats. You name them and we have them. Miracle indeed. via DM iPad app

    ramesh Saturday, 28 June 2014 01:04 PM

    This one just got caught... But how many people are out there doing these type of crime business from around the world..not only from sri lanka

    ramesh Saturday, 28 June 2014 01:04 PM

    This one just got caught... But how many people are out there doing these type of crime business from around the world..not only from sri lanka

    InvictuSriLankan Saturday, 28 June 2014 10:26 AM

    ...now here's a guy that might be qualified to do the real Parliament jokes movie! Won't be surprised if he becomes a minister soon after he comes back to SL.


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