ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Highrise of lies: ATO catches phantom Gold Coast property developer

Last updated 19 August 2021

Gold Coast property developer, Mr Kevin Barnard has been sentenced at the Southport District Court for fraudulently obtaining $147,763 in GST refunds.

Mr Barnard was sentenced to three years imprisonment to be immediately released on a recognisance release order, and a three-year good behaviour bond of $5000. In addition to his criminal conviction, he was ordered to pay back the full amount to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). His Honour Rowan J released the defendant because he was not satisfied that the defendant’s medical condition could be adequately managed in custody.

In his capacity as director of Share Water Developments Pty Ltd, Mr Barnard claimed to be constructing a high-rise apartment building at Broadbeach. He lodged eight business activity statements (BAS) with false expenses in relation to the development of this property.

During an audit into Share Water Developments’ tax affairs by the ATO it was uncovered that Mr Barnard never owned the land in Broadbeach, hadn’t obtained finance for the project and hadn’t submitted any development applications for the site. The expenses claimed in these BAS lodgments were never incurred.

Mr Barnard also attempted to obtain an additional $76,253 in fraudulent refunds which was stopped by the ATO.

Assistant Commissioner Ian Read welcomed today’s sentence, saying this kind of deception is effectively stealing from the pockets of taxpayers.

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

“In this instance, the defendant won’t serve his sentence due to a medical condition, however, this is an exception. Those who are deliberately trying to cheat the tax system can expect to get caught and face large fines and even jail time.”

“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.”

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.