Actor Sir Michael Caine, singers George Michael, Kate Melua and Gary Barlow, and four members of the Arctic Monkeys rock band are among those accused of participating in a massive tax shelter scheme in the United Kingdom.
They are among more than 1,600 people who are accused of sheltering more than 1.7 billion pounds, or roughly $2 billion, from the U.K. tax authorities as part of the Liberty tax shelter, according to the Times of London.
Others include doctors, business executives, a judge and a convicted loan shark. Under the scheme, Liberty would generate fictitious losses in offshore investments, allowing taxpayers to avoid taxes on their income in the U.K.
Melua told the Times that she had invested in the scheme in 2008 on the recommendation of her accountants, but when she learned that British tax authorities were investigating the tax shelter, she paid the amount in full on her taxes in 2009. She has claimed to have paid almost half her income in taxes and in 2011 was nominated for a “Tax Superhero” award by the charity Christian Aid, according to the Daily Mail.