The nature of the challenging and complicated work has come to light in the course of a lawsuit that may or may not be trumped up:
The court documents say the comedian has established “greater than 30 fraudulent corporations that set-up websites and mission statements to mislead individuals form (sic) discovering the true identity and purpose of the requested appearance by... Sacha Baron Cohen”.Or would you hate to use your legal skills to trick people like this? Come on, I said assuming you're a lawyer.
At least 29 company name registrations linked to the film have been filed with the LA County Clerk, all in 2007. Many of them give the appearance of being German or Swiss broadcasting firms, such as Deutsches Modefernsehen and Deutsches Unterhaltungsfernsehen.
Among the firms that seems to have been most used as a front for the film is Amesbury Chase.
Its website is now blank, but before being removed, it described Amesbury Chase as a production company offering “world class facilities, and state-of-the art equipment to help you create dynamic and compelling content”.
Its address was a mailbox on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. At least three other “front companies” – Chromium Films, Cold Stream Productions and Coral Blue Productions – used the same address and phone number and had identical websites.
Production staff working on the film used the companies as fronts to contact several organisations and individuals to persuade them to take part in the documentary they were filming, often pretending it was a European production looking at American culture.
Among those taken in were the Alabama National Guard, which was contacted by staff from Amesbury Chase to say they were an affiliate of a German TV station shooting a documentary on what it was like to be in officer recruitment school. Baron Cohen was allowed to train alongside new recruits and was filmed changing into uniform, exposing a thong he was wearing.