Oscar winners list dismissed as a 'fraud' by Academy

Posted Feb 21, 2009 by Jason Le Miere
A document purporting to be the official list of 81st Annual Academy Awards Oscar winners, which has been circulating on the Web over past days, has been labeled a hoax by award's organizers.
File image
The list is scribed on what appears to be a an official Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences letterhead and contains the supposed signature of the President of the Academy, Sid Ganis, prompting many to believe that it was the genuine article.
Such a belief led to a flurry of bets being placed on the purported outcomes. For the most part, the list names the favorites to raise the gongs on Sunday night — Slumdog Millionaire winning for best picture and best director, Mickey Rourke for best actor and Kate Winslet for best actress. However, the fake document lists one big surprise winner in Amy Adams for best supporting actress for her role in Doubt . Adams is a significant underdog in the betting, with Penelope Cruz having won many of the critics awards leading up to the big event in Hollywood tomorrow.
Since the list appeared online, UK bookmaker Paddy Power has taken over £40,000 ($57,700) on Adams winning the award, according to UK broadsheet, the Daily Telegraph.
This "leak" falls hot on the heels of a similar scandal before the Golden Globe awards last month. Leading up to the event, the award's Web site published a list of nominees with an asterisk next to the name of Anne Hathaway in the category for best actress in a drama.
That was shown to be nothing more than a slip-up by organizers after Kate Winslet took home the award and the recent Oscars leak has also been shot down.
Spokeswoman for the Academy, Leslie Unger, said the list was "a complete fraud," explaining that PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm who are auditors for the ceremony, were still counting the votes, reports BBC News.
Unger also stated that the Academy's president was not even made aware of the winners before the ceremony and that furthermore, no list, like the one leaked, was ever created.