UPDATED: Killer Elite producer Michael Boughen sentenced on tax charges
UPDATE (August 24, 2011): Michael Boughen has continued to work on Killer Elite, representing the views of Omnilab Media and Ambience Entertainment, after his resignation.
Omnilab had previously said Boughen had resigned in April, just before he was sentenced for tax offences related to an offshore tax evasion scheme.
However, he has continued to represent the views of the company in ongoing correspondence with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA).
A spokeswoman for Omnilab said Boughen had incorrectly been using the Ambience signature and contact details on his personal email since his resignation.
However, she also said he is able to work under the terms of his home detention and has completed some “clean up” work on Killer Elite. He is not being paid by Ambience for the work, she said.
August 4, 2011: The producer of last year’s biggest Australian film at the box office, Tomorrow, When the War Began, is serving a period of home detention after recently being sentenced for tax offences.
Michael Boughen – who worked for Omnilab Media’s production arm, Ambience Entertainment – had been fighting the charges since at least February 2009. Those charges related to an offshore tax evasion scheme involving companies allegedly set up in Vanuatu by accountant Lynette Liles, according to a report at the time.
Boughen resigned from Ambience in April before being sentenced in June. An Omnilab spokesman released a statement, which distanced the company from the producer.
“Michael was sentenced in June for offences that predated his employment with Ambience. At the time of his sentencing he was not an employee as he had tendered his resignation in April. It is not appropriate for Ambience to comment on legal issues including the detail of charges and sentences handed down. They are, of course, a matter of public record through the court. Michael’s work completed before his resignation and subsequent sentencing will be credited.”
Boughen was a prominent part of Ambience, representing the company at several major events in the wake of Tomorrow, When the War Began's local success, including the 2010 IF Awards, AFI Awards and as a panel speaker at the Screen Producers Association of Australia conference.
Andrew Mason also produced Tomorrow, When the War Began, which grossed more than $13.5 million at the Australian box office, but failed to find an international audience.
Boughen's other major producer credit is on the upcoming $66 million Australian-thriller Killer Elite, which stars Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen. Another producer on that film (who does not work at Ambience), Sigurjon Sighvatsson, is currently facing a separate court case lodged by a former development executive, who claims he was promised a co-producer’s credit and $US50,000 for his work.
Boughen’s extensive TV credits include executive producer of Seven's Deal or No Deal, Celebrity Big Brother, Blind Date, Catch Phrase and, more recently, kids shows' Larry the Lawnmower and Erky Perky.