DOCUMENT: Celebrity

Sacha Baron Cohen's Cover-Up

Star erases fake web sites, still has dozens more front companies

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Sacha Baron Cohen's Cover-Up

MARCH 24--In the wake of the disclosure of how Sacha Baron Cohen uses front companies to trick Americans into appearing in his latest film, the comedian and his cohorts have deleted the web sites of purported production companies created for their latest cinematic ruse.

However, records show that Cohen has more than two dozen other straw firms, all of which were created at the outset of production on the follow-up to the 2006 hit "Borat," which starred Cohen as a fictional Kazakh journalist (in his new Universal Pictures movie, Cohen appears as "Bruno," a gay Austrian fashion commentator).

As TSG reported last week, Cohen & Co. set up four firms--Amesbury Chase Productions, Chromium Films, Cold Stream Productions, and Coral Blue Productions--and launched nearly identical web sites for the companies. In recent months, unwitting interview subjects have been asked to participate in a documentary for German television that was supposedly being prepared by a Los Angeles production company. To assure these rubes, Cohen's assistants have pointed to company web sites touting the firms's "world class facilities, and state-of-the art equipment."

In fact, Cohen's companies exist on paper alone, and their shared address is a box at a Sunset Boulevard mailbox rental firm.

Now, the four web sites--and several others subsequently discovered by TSG, like Longman Parke Productions--have been scrubbed of their content and left with blank pages (as seen above). The logos of the four companies are shown here, and screen grabs from the front pages of the now-erased sites are on the following pages. However, L.A. County Clerk records show that at least 25 other Cohen front companies were created in mid-2007.

So while he has recently been forced to shutter some of these phony firms, Cohen can always hide behind such fabricated entities as German Youth Television, Rheinland Films, Channel 1 Switzerland, and Swiss Entertainment Television. And then there's always Deutsches Unterhaltungsfernsehen, which roughly translates to "German Entertainment Television."

Click here for a full list of Cohen's "Bruno" front companies and their dates of formation. (6 pages)