Ireland Boss Martin O'Neill is one of 17 managers and former players suing Coutts after losing millions in a film industry-based tax avoidance scheme. After investing several millions of pounds in multiple schemes to reduce his tax bill, the schemes were subsequently challenged by the authorities and their legitimacy scrutinised, although there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his or the other investors' part.
As well as suing Coutts, the Queen's bank, the group of managers and former players are also suing a number of other banks and companies from the financial services sector. The individuals are amongst a much larger number of other investors who feel foul of film-based schemes that were found to have crept outside of tax rules by HMRC, resulting in substantial losses for many individuals.
In total 589 top footballers and sports stars invested around 479 million Euro into the asset management company that was responsible for advising the individuals. Whilst the finance company in question is also undergoing a 28 million Euro fraud investigation being carried out by London police, HMRC are seeking to recoup at least 70 per cent of the amounts put in the schemes, plus fines and interest. For O'Neill this could mean facing a repayment similar to the value he initially invested.
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