• Appendix: Tax practitioner sentences

    The following table, compiled by David Williams, is a salutatory reminder of the length of jail terms that professionals who are found guilty of tax fraud can expect:

    Table 1: Examples of tax practitioner sentences

    ACCUSED PERSON

    CASE DETAILS

    CONVICTED OF AN OFFENCE UNDER

    SENTENCE [head sentence & non-parole period]

    Ewan Stoddart

    ATO Media Release 2013/24

    Found guilty of 13 counts of aiding and abetting the commission of fraud against the Commonwealth

    6 years

    Philip Tadros

    The Queen v Tadros

    Unreported County Court of Victoria 29 July 2013

    Pleaded guilty to five counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2 and one count of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2

    4 years with a non-parole period of 2 years

    Philip de Figueiredo of Strachans

    Courier Mail 6 March 2013External Link

    [2013] QCA 303

    Pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth between 1999 and 2005 [involving Daniel Stoten & Adam Hargraves (counts 1 and 2) and Glenn Wheatley (count 3)]

    6 years with a non-parole period of 2 year 5 months on appeal

    Non-parole period reduced to 2 years due to co-operation given in relation to potential prosecution of Egglishaw

    Cox, Cuffe & Morrison

    R v Cox; R v Cuffe; R v Morrison [2013] QCA 10

    Each found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth contrary to s86 of the Crimes Act (CA)

    Cuffe and Morrison each received 5 years with a non-parole period of 2½ years

    Cox received 9 years 11 months with a non-parole period of 3 years 4 months

    Greg Dunn

    R v Dunn [No 9] [2014] WASC 61

    Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to s135.4(3)

    7 years with a non-parole period of 4 years

    Robert Agius

    R v Agius; R v Zerafa [2012] NSWSC 978 [sentencing]

    Agius v the Queen [2013] HCATrans 30

    Agius v The Queen [2013] HCA 27

    Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth contrary to s86 of the CA and one count of conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to s135.4(5)

    8 years 11 months (after allowance for having been detained for one month prior to trial) with a non-parole period of 6 years and 8 months. An appeal against the conviction under the second count was dismissed by the Full High Court.

    Kevin Zerafa

    R v Agius; R v Zerafa [2012] NSWSC 978

    R v Zerafa [2013] NSWCCA 222

    Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth contrary to s86 of the CA and one count of conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to s135.4(5)

    On appeal ordered to serve 500 hours of community service (for the first charge) and 3 years 6 months with a non-parole period of 2 years 3 months in respect of the second charge).

    Lynnette Liles

    R v Liles [2012] NSWSC 1249

    Pleaded guilty to offences contrary to s29D of the CA, s86 of the CA and conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to s135.4(3)

    8 years 3 months with a non-parole period of 4 years 3 months

    George Livanes

    Prothonotary of the Supreme Court of New South Wales v Livanes [2012] NSWCA 325

    Pleaded guilty to 10 counts of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA and two counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2

    6 years with a non-parole period of 3 years 6 months

    Ian Henke, Robin Huston and Brian Fox

    R v Huston; R v Fox; R v Henke [2011] QCA 349

    R v Huston; R v Fox; R v Henke [2011] QCA 350

    Each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth contrary to s86 of the CA of more than $4.5 million

    After appeal sentences increased as follows.

    Huston received 6 years with a non-parole period of 3 years

    Fox received 5 years with a non-parole period of 2 years 6 months

    Henke received 6 years with a non-parole period of 3 years

    Paul Gregory

    R v Gregory [2010] VSC 121; (2010) 77 ATR 219; DPP (C'th) v Gregory [2011] VSCA 145

    Found guilty of one count of conspiracy to dishonestly cause risk of loss to a Commonwealth entity contrary to s135.4(5) [found not guilty of other charges]

    Head sentence of 2 years' imprisonment but to be released after 12 months upon giving security by recognisance of $5,000 to be of good behaviour for 12 months

    On appeal by the DPP it was indicated that the sentence was too lenient but the discretion was exercised by the Court not to increase the sentence because of the delay in the appeal by the DPP.

    Trevor Thompson

    Unreported Supreme Court of Western Australia, 13 May 2010

    Pleaded guilty to falsifying documents in a tax fraud

    3 years 3 months – Mr Thomson pleaded guilty in 2010 and served 13 months of a 39 month sentence (source: The West Australian, 25 September 2013)

    Peter Ambrosy

    Herald Sun 2 February 2008

    Unreported Victorian County Court, 2 February 2008

    Pleaded guilty to three counts of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA

    7 years with a non-parole period of 5 years

    Scott Holzberger

    R v Holzberger [2007] QCA 258

    Pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA; three counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2; two counts of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2; and one count of using a forged document.

    3 years with a non-parole period of 15 months

    Cassariti

    Cassariti v R [2007] NSWCCA 66

    Found guilty of 22 out of 23 counts of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA and of one count of attempting to defraud the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA

    Appeal against conviction rejected [sentence not disclosed in the appeal]

    My Phung Ly

    Ly v R [2007] NSWCCA 28

    Pleaded guilty to 18 counts of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA and 18 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2; five counts of attempting to defraud the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA and one count of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception contrary to s134.2

    On appeal 6 years with a non-parole period of 4 years

    Steven Hart

    R v Hart [2004] QCA 421

    R v Hart [2005] QCA 50

    R v Hart [2006] QCA 39

    Hart v DPP [2011] QCA 351

    Found guilty of nine counts of defrauding the Commonwealth contrary to s29D of the CA

    7 years with a non-parole period of 2 years 9 months

      Last modified: 17 Nov 2014QC 43144