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  • Sydney tax agent sentenced to five years’ jail

    A 42-year-old tax agent was today sentenced in the Sydney District Court to five years’ jail for tax fraud and money laundering, after being convicted of taking more than $75,000 from his clients and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

    A joint ATO and Australian Federal Police investigation in June 2014 uncovered Md Zahidul Kabir’s fraudulent use of 16 of his clients’ tax file numbers to lodge false tax returns resulting in the wrongful payment of tax refunds into his own bank accounts.

    It also found Mr Kabir laundered money from 22 other taxpayers by withdrawing their tax refunds from their bank accounts without their knowledge.

    ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Vujanic welcomed the sentence and said it reflected the serious nature of Mr Kabir’s crimes.

    “The ATO has a strong commitment to protecting honest taxpayers by identifying and prosecuting any tax professional who abuses their position of trust by either conspiring with or against their clients to defraud the tax system,” Mr Vujanic said.

    “We welcome the sentence handed down in this case and the message it sends about the significant impact tax fraud has not only on those directly affected, but also on the community through taxes which are not paid.

    “Tax agents, accountants and other trusted advisors have an important role to play in contributing to the integrity of the tax system as whole.

    “We will continue to work with tax professionals to ensure the integrity of the system and to protect honest tax professionals and the community from these types of crimes.”

    AFP Commander Bruce Hill, acting National Manager Organised Crime, said the sentencing highlights the effectiveness of a coordinated response in this crime type.

    “Taxation fraud has a significant impact on all Australians – every dollar defrauded is money diverted from the community. This investigation is testament to the strong working relationship between the ATO and AFP and what can be achieved when combining the capabilities of both agencies,” Commander Hill said.

    Mr Kabir was sentenced on the following charges:

    • One charge of dealing with money to the value of $50,000 or more that he believed to be the proceeds of crime contrary to section 400.5 (1) of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth).
    • 16 charges of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception contrary to section 134.2 (1) of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth).
    • Nine offences of dishonestly causing a risk of loss to the Commonwealth contrary to section 135.1 (5) of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth).

    If a taxpayer suspects or is aware of anyone who is involved in tax fraud, they can report it confidentially at ato.gov.au/reportaconcern or call 1800 060 062.

    Last modified: 14 Nov 2018QC 57360