13:53, November 02 497 0 theguardian.com

2018-11-02 13:53:09
Brexit: The Movie producer charged with committing £500,000 fraud

The hedge fund executive who produced a feature-length Brexit film encouraging Britons to vote leave in the 2016 EU referendum has appeared in court charged with committing a more than £500,000 fraud.

David Shipley, 36, is alleged to have committed fraud by false representation by Photoshopping his wage slips to make it appear he was paid much more than he really was in order to secure a loan approval.

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More than 2 million people watched Brexit: The Movie, which was released a month before the Brexit vote and designed to “inspire as many people as possible to vote to leave the EU in the 23 June referendum”. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage was among a clutch of Brexiters who attended the film’s premiere in the Leicester Square Odeon on 11 May 2016.

Shipley is also alleged to have committed a second count of fraud by abusing his position as managing partner of hedge fund Spitfire Capital Advisors to cause the firm to lose nearly £20,000.

Shipley, from Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, pleased not guilty to both of the charges at Westminster magistrates’ court on Friday. He was bailed to appear at Southwark crown court on 30 November.

Writing for ConservativeHome in 2017, Shipley said: “I don’t think that a day went by between 1 January and 23 June last year where I wasn’t thinking about how we could win the referendum vote for leave.

“As for many people who are involved in British politics, the EU referendum campaign dominated the first half of last year for me. Between producing Brexit: The Movie, working with a wide variety of leave groups to distribute it and pounding the streets, the campaign consumed all of my free time.”