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  • Fraudster brought to justice

    Hightrade executive Song (Peter) Chang was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth and sentenced to 5.5 years’ jail on Friday following a complex investigation by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

    Between 2002 and 2007, 45-year-old Chang conspired to defraud the Commonwealth of $10.5 million by engaging in fraudulent behaviour during the construction of the Pokolbin golf course.

    Mr Chang’s fraud involved the use of multiple related companies which grossly inflated sale prices between themselves and then finally failed to remit the GST to the ATO. In addition Mr Chang’s companies failed to supply goods and services to the developments. There were numerous other techniques and attempts to conceal the fraud, including large-scale and complex round-robin transactions.

    Mr Chang is currently serving a five year jail term for separate fraud crimes involving a Sydney property where he and his co-conspirators prepared and lodged nearly $3.1 million in fraudulent Business Activity Statements (BAS).

    In sentencing Mr Chang in the Sydney District court, her Honour Judge Tupman said this was a $10.5M loss to the Commonwealth that will never be recovered, and it is the community at large which suffers when funds are not available through taxation due to fraud.

    ATO Deputy Commissioner Will Day said Mr Chang deliberately set out to break the law for his own benefit.

    “This type of calculated behaviour undermines genuine businesses by heavily under-quoting and leaves business creditors and employees without their entitlements,” Mr Day said.

    “It also affects the entire community by taking away taxpayer money used to pay for essential services and infrastructure.”

    The ATO works closely with other agencies to stamp out this sort of behaviour.

    If you have any information which may indicate tax fraud or evasion, find out how to report it by visiting ato.gov.au/reportaconcern. Complaints can also be made to ASIC by visiting asic.gov.au/about-asic/contact-us/how-to-complain/External Link

    For more information on the enforcement efforts of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, visit the websiteExternal Link.

    Last modified: 07 Jun 2017QC 52476