Pro-Brexit film producer jailed for ‘gross dishonesty’ after conning Dragon’s Den star out of money

PUBLISHED: 09:43 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:47 07 February 2020

Brexit: The Movie was screened before the EU referendum and the producer David Shipley (right). Photograph: Twitter/PA.

Brexit: The Movie was screened before the EU referendum and the producer David Shipley (right). Photograph: Twitter/PA.

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The producer of a pro-Brexit movie has been jailed for almost four years after fraudulently securing a loan from a business belonging to Dragon’s Den entrepreneur James Cann.

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David Shipley, producer of Brexit: The Movie, was jailed for three years and nine months after it was revealed he edited images of his payslips and P60 to over-inflate his income in order to obtain money for a new finance firm he helped establish.

A court heard how Shipley contacted Cann's firm Resourcing Capital Ventures Limited (RCV) in 2014 for a £519,000 loan to create a new corporate finance advisory firm called Spitfire Capital Advisers Ltd alongside two other people.

A total of £327,600 was paid into Shipley's company, prosecutor Aqeel Noorali said.

But Southwark Crown Court heard that Shipley had "photoshopped" his P60 to show an income of £377,000, and bank statements showing £540,000, when the defendant's true income was just £19,928.

The court heard that Shipley, of Broomfield Hill, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation between June 12 and September 5 2014.

"You were clearly acting out of your normal standards in this, but it was a blatant piece of dishonesty," Judge Griffith said.

He said Shipley was a man of "good character, save for a drink-driving matter".

But he added: "It was clearly an abuse of position by you.

"You were going into business with other people and you say you have earned this much in the past and they trusted your word."

Shipley's actions amounted to "gross dishonesty", adding: "You maintained, when you photoshopped those documents, it amounted to a white lie."

Judge Griffith jailed Shipley for almost four years, and he will serve half of the sentence of licence.

Shipley, who showed no emotion as the sentence was read out, was also disqualified from being a director for seven years.

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is due to take place at a later date.

Shipley's pro-Brexit documentary was released a month before the 2016 referendum, and featured interviews with leading Brexiteers Nigel Farage and David Davis. The £300,000 budget for Brexit: The Movie was raised via crowdfunding.

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