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Fraudster struck off ARB register

Ian Sherwood, a former director at Hattrell DS One Architects in Manchester has been erased from the ARB register after being jailed for his role in an elaborate scam

In a statement the ARB said Sherwood had been erased from the register after ‘being found guilty of a criminal offence which had material relevance to his fitness to practice as an architect’.

The architect was jailed for three and half years for his role in a plot to cheat the taxman which involved the fabrication of a bogus film in an attempt to fraudulently claim £2.7million in tax breaks.

Sherwood had allowed his offices to be used as a front for the bogus film project. The film – entitled Landscape of Lives had a budget of £19.6million, and was the basis for three claims for VAT repayments and a film tax credit.

At the Professional Conduct Committee hearing, the ARB committee said they ‘considered honesty and integrity’ as fundamental to the profession.

The committee said: ‘The matter for which the respondent was convicted was patently serious and materially impacts not only on the Respondent’s reputation, but also on that of the profession generally.’

Previous story (AJ 25.03.13)

Architect jailed for role in bogus film fraud

An architect has been jailed for his part in an elaborate scam to cheat the taxman involving a bogus film and D-grade actors

Ian Sherwood, formerly a director of Manchester-based DS Hattrel One, was locked up for three and a half years alongside other co-conspirators for his involvement in the ‘making’ of £20 million gangster movie A Landscape of Lies.

Described by Southwark Crown Court as an ‘entirely bogus film project’, the court heard how the gang attempted to fraudulently claim £2.7million in tax breaks, managing to receive £796,000 of public money by setting up a series of fake companies – none of which was ever recovered.

Sherwood was sentenced alongside plot mastermind Bashar Al Issa. A disgraced former property developer, Issa fronted BS Construction the firm behind Salford high-rise scheme Canopus Greengate (20 Dec 2007).  Designed by Manchester-based Arca,the scheme was finally ditched and Issa firm went into administration in 2008 owing £44.5million.

DS Hattrell One director Kenneth Jones told the AJ that the firm had severed connections with Sherwood: ‘The guy has been convicted, he is no longer at the practice.’

Simon Howard, professional standards manager at ARB, said: ‘Generally speaking, convicted architects are referred to the Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) and it would be up to the committee to decide if Sherwood would be struck off in a process ‘that could take months.’

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