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  • Latest serious tax crime investigation results

    There are people who are calculated in their attempts to deliberately commit fraud and evade their tax obligations, ultimately stealing from the Australian community and placing an unfair burden on others who are doing the right thing.

    The ATO, along with our partner agencies, interrogate various information sources and use sophisticated analytics, to identify people who deliberately break the law to:

    • avoid paying the right amount of tax, or
    • claim refunds or other payments they are not entitled to.

    Below is a summary of serious tax crime investigations for the period of January to June 2017. These are the result of the combined efforts by the ATO and our partner agencies who, with community support, keep our tax and superannuation systems fair.

    Serious tax crime joint investigations – January to June 2017

    Result

    Details

    State

    3 years jail

    Pornpat CHUENSUKJIT, from New South Wales (NSW), acted as a third-party lodger and lodged 217 income tax returns for the 2010 income year, with three separate tax agents. The returns contained false information and Chuensukjit was convicted on three charges. A reparation order of $652,862 was made by the courts.

    NSW

    18 months jail

    Salvatore ARCURI, a tax agent from NSW, lodged his 2011 tax return and an amendment, which contained false information. He was convicted on two charges and sentenced to 18 months in jail.

    NSW

    7 months periodic detention

    Artin ETMEKDJIAN, a tax agent from South Australia, submitted to the ATO three forms with the intention of dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth public official.

    SA

    5 years jail

    A woman from NSW, while receiving Centrelink benefits over a 4½ year period, lodged 140 false business activity statements (BAS) on behalf of 8 related entities, claiming GST refunds for purported business expenditure of $9 million. A reparation order of $394,550 has been made by the courts.

    NSW

    18 months suspended sentence

    Anthony LANZI, a Queensland man, was convicted of three offences for submitting BAS when no refunds were due and providing false documents at audit.

    QLD

    2 years suspended jail

    A Melbourne tax agent, Augustine ADAMS, was convicted of three charges and sentenced to 2 years jail (suspended) for lodging false tax returns on behalf of his clients.

    Vic.

    4 acres of tobacco crop destroyed

    Victorian police, together with ATO investigators, executed a warrant over a property near Bacchus Marsh, where a crop of tobacco of approximately 4 acres was seized and destroyed. The estimated excise value was $1.5 million.

    Vic.

    Illicit tobacco seized and destroyed

    A warrant was executed in March 2017 at Macorna, Victoria, to seize and destroy a tobacco crop of approximately 15 acres and 12½ hessian bags of dried tobacco. The estimated excise value was $5.8 million.

    Vic.

    93,000 tobacco plants destroyed

    Investigators, together with NSW police, executed a warrant at a property in Cooma, destroying a tobacco crop of approximately 93,000 plants (1.2 tonnes of plant matter), with an estimated excise value of $11.8 million.

    NSW

    Warrant executed and equipment seized

    A warrant was executed over a property in Cobram, Victoria, where a large amount of equipment and flavours were seized in relation to the manufacturing of alcohol.

    Vic.

    Tobacco seedlings destroyed

    In April 2017, a warrant was executed over a property in Rosewhite, Victoria, where tobacco plants were found growing in hothouses. Approximately 9,660 seedlings were destroyed, with an estimated excise value of $745,000.

    Vic.

    12 acres of tobacco crop destroyed

    An anonymous tip-off to Victorian police saw a warrant executed at a property in Euroa, where approximately 12 acres of tobacco crop was destroyed. The estimated excise value was $4.6 million.

    Vic.

    Illicit tobacco seized and destroyed

    Approximately 5,400 kilograms of tobacco leaf and 12 acres of tobacco were destroyed when a warrant was executed over a property in Cobram, Victoria, in April 2017. Equipment related to the manufacture was also seized. The estimated excise value was almost $9.0 million.

    Vic.

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    Last modified: 24 Nov 2017QC 50783