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  • Tax fugitive tracked down and sentenced to 3 years and 3 months jail

    A 56-year-old New South Wales man, Mr Peter Garven, was sentenced in the Sydney District Court to three years and three months jail for fraudulently obtaining and attempting to obtain more than $200,000 from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), on 30 May 2019. Mr Garven was also ordered to repay $154,188.96.

    As the sole director of Peter Garven Consulting and Garven Resources, between October 2002 and July 2004, Mr Garven lodged three Income Tax Returns where he fraudulently obtained $102,504 in refunds and attempted to obtain a further $41,758.

    Mr Garven claimed to have received salary and wages of more than $150,000 from the University of New South Wales, despite the University having no record of any payments to Mr Garven.

    In addition, between August 2002 and July 2004, Mr Garven fraudulently obtained $51,684 in Goods and Tax (GST) refunds on behalf of his two entities Peter Garven Consulting and Garven Resources.

    In 2004, Mr Garven acknowledged that his claims were false and said he would lodge amendments. The ATO never received the amended returns which triggered audit action.

    Following this, Mr Garven failed to appear in court for his trial in March 2009 with a warrant issued for his arrest issued shortly after. He went into hiding and was registered on the missing persons list. In 2017, he was arrested on a warrant by the NSW Police in the Watagan Mountains.

    ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Vujanic said this result highlights the effectiveness of the collaborative joint agency approach.

    “This is a perfect example of local intelligence sharing and our combined capability all working together to enable an effective multi-agency response,” Mr Vujanic said.

    If a member of the community has any knowledge or concerns about someone involved in tax fraud or evasion, find out how to report it by visiting ato.gov.au/reportaconcern or call 1800 060 062. Reports can be made anonymously.

    Last modified: 31 May 2019QC 59144