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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 either:

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

    Below is a summary of serious tax crime investigations for the period of July to December 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 – July to December 2017

    Result

    Details

    State

    27 months jail – non-parole period 15 months

    Anthony ROCK from Newcastle NSW lodged four income tax returns via his tax agent. The agent queried the excessive amounts of PAYGW. Refunds totalling $555,924.80 for the four years were stopped prior to payment.

    NSW

    Arrest

    A 56-year-old man from northern NSW was arrested when he surrendered himself to police. He was charged with attempted tax fraud to the value of $10,229,360, but had failed to attend court resulting in the issue of a bench warrant.

    NSW

    3 years jail – no parole

    Phillip LEACH was found guilty on 12 charges of lodging BAS across three entities claiming GST credits that were found to be false. He was sentenced to three years imprisonment without parole. A reparation order of $134,011.99 has been made by the courts.

    Qld

    42 months jail – non-parole period of 14 months

    William FEENEY was the sole Director of a labour hire company and was found guilty and sentenced to 42 months jail for failing to report and remit PAYGW. A reparation order of $1,425,194 has been issued by the court.

    Qld

    Arrest

    A 55-year-old man from the north coast of NSW was arrested in relation to tax crimes with a value of $226,043. He was arrested after coming to the attention of NSW Police for allegedly impersonating a police officer. He was living in bushland. He failed to appear at a 2009 trial and a bench warrant was issued. He was reported as a missing person after his disappearance.

    NSW

    29 months jail

    Nayanaka SAMARAKOON, a 38-year-old tax agent from Glen Iris Victoria, was sentenced to 29 months jail, with a non parole period of 18 months, for claiming government grants his company was not entitled to.

    Vic

    4 years jail

    Jose LOPEZ from Melbourne, was found guilty of registering business and falsely claiming GST credits he was not entitled to. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 28 months. A reparation order of $407,213 was issued by the court.

    Vic

    $5,000 fine

    Bronwyn ROBINS, a 31-year-old woman from Perth, submitted four BAS claiming a GST for business which was not in operation. She was found guilty and received a fine of $5,000.

    WA

    $5,000 fine

    Benjamin KANE provided false documents during the audit process, to substantiate claims made on BAS lodged. He was found guilty of three charges and received a fine of $5,000. All monies have been repaid to the ATO, including a penalty of $8,300.

    WA

    Arrest

    A 26-year-old Queensland man was arrested on 106 charges of identity crime and tax fraud, totalling over $560,000, in a joint operation between the ATO and Queensland Cybercrime Police.

    Qld

    42 months jail – non-parole period of 12 months

    Gregory SALIGARI was found guilty of 16 charges for false claims made on BAS lodged. He was sentenced to 42 months jail with a non-parole period of 12 months (to be served as 30 months period detention).

    Vic

    8 years jail – non-parole period of 48 months

    Peter STAMATOPOULOS, 51-year-old male from WA, was a partner at an accounting firm and used client and family member identities to obtain fraudulent tax refund payments. He was convicted on 63 charges and obtained $2,007,060 over the course of several years. A reparation order of $884,664.97 was made by the courts. The matter is currently pending appeal.

    WA

    3 years jail – non-parole period of 12  months

    WILSON, a 64-year-old male from Chapel Hill Queensland falsified nine BAS to obtain $217,134 in refunds he was not entitled to. Documents provided at audit were determined to be false. He was convicted on two charges and sentenced to 36 months jail with a non-parole period of 12 months; when released he will be subject to a three year good behaviour bond with a recognisance of $1,000. A reparation order was made by the court for $217,134.

    Qld

    Arrest

    A 49-year-old man from NSW was arrested in December 2017 for conspiring to cause a $2 million loss to the Commonwealth. Proceedings have also commenced against his two accomplices.

    NSW

    See also:

    Last modified: 22 Jan 2018QC 50783