ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Fraudulent GST refunds land NSW man in jail

Last updated 17 March 2022

Between December 2011 and April 2015, Mr Raymond Cool claimed he was providing handyman, carpentry and computer repair services under the trading name Cool Industries.

He reported that the business had made more than $3.3 million in sales during this period, claiming corresponding acquisitions and input tax credits. As a result, he obtained $171,529 in fraudulent GST refunds. He also attempted to obtain an additional $4,832, but this was stopped by the ATO.

It was found that Mr Cool didn’t hold a licence to perform carpentry or building work in New South Wales during the offending period and his bank statements didn’t contain any activity that would suggest he was carrying on an enterprise.

Mr Cool was originally due to face court in 2019, but he failed to appear. He evaded authorities until December 2020 when he was located and arrested by police.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Megan Croaker welcomed this sentence, reiterating the ATO’s stance on fraudulent behaviour like this.

“We have no tolerance for blatant fraud like we have seen in this case,” Ms Croaker said.

Mr Cool attempted to substantiate his claims by providing a range of documents that were found to be of personal or non-business in nature, related to a period outside the scope of the audit, materially altered since being issued by third-party suppliers, or simply fabricated.

“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime – those who engage in this criminal behaviour are obtaining an unfair advantage over those who do the right thing.” Ms Croaker said.

“We know that most people do the right thing. The small number of people who try to evade or cheat the tax and super system will get caught and we will take firm action.”

You can anonymously report tax evasion and crime activities to the ATO via the app or by calling 1800 060 062.

This matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.