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  • Serious Financial Crime Taskforce case studies

    The majority of people comply with their tax obligations. However, there are a small number of people who deliberately do the wrong thing. The ATO-led Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) was established to respond to this, targeting the more serious financial crimes in Australia.

    The case studies on this page reinforce that those who deliberately cheat the system will be held to account.

    Stay up to date on the latest SFCT outcomes by subscribing to general email updates. Subscribers will receive updates on all new general content on our website, including the latest SFCT case studies.

    Previous case studies

    Second sentencing for Australia's largest tax fraud case

    On 29 March 2018, Michael Issakidis faced the Supreme Court of NSW for his involvement in the largest prosecuted tax fraud case in Australia’s history.

    Alongside his co-conspirator Anthony Dickson, Issakidis deliberately absorbed $450 million of otherwise assessable income. He did this through the use of complex domestic and international trust and tax evasion structures. This caused a loss to the Commonwealth of $135 million. By creating a web of false identities and siphoning money offshore, the pair acquired approximately $63 million.

    Issakidis was sentenced to 10 years and three months jail for his involvement in the operation. This followed the 2015 sentencing of Dickson, whose original 11-year sentence was increased to 14 years on appeal.

    The significant penalties handed down to both Issakidis and Dickson demonstrate the success of the SFCT in dealing with those who deliberately cheat the system. As a member of the SFCT, we are equipped with the resources, data-matching capability and international and domestic intelligence-sharing relationships to uncover even the most complex tax evasion schemes.

    People who deliberately avoid paying the correct amount of tax will be caught and will face the full force of the law.

    This infographic provides more detail about how the scam was set up and where the funds were moved to – The scam – How it was set up (PDF 271KB)This link will download a file.

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    Last modified: 12 Jan 2021QC 58431