This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office
A Guildford man has been sentenced to one year and ten months imprisonment for defrauding the Australian Tax Office (ATO) of more than $3 million.
The man, 39, pleaded guilty in October 2022 to two counts of dealing in the proceeds of crime and the sentence imposed today (31 March, 2023) by the Parramatta District Court.
A joint AFP and ATO Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) investigation began in 2021 into fraudulent Business Activity Statement (BAS) refunds lodged under multiple companies identified by the ATO.
Further enquiries revealed the bank account details associated with those companies had been changed to ones controlled by the man.
The man, then aged 37, was arrested and charged in March 2021. Further information about the investigation can be found here.External Link
The matter was also investigated by the AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT), who sought and obtained restraining orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) over multiple bank accounts and a luxury vehicle. The assets, worth a combined value of about $2.73 million, were suspected to be the proceeds of the fraudulent activity.
AFP Detective Superintendent Kristie Cressy said the AFP took a collaborative approach to stamping out fraud against the Commonwealth.
“The ATO-led Serious Financial Crime Taskforce is a joint partnership, that allows us to leverage our combined forces and skills to identify and stamp out criminal behaviour,” Det Supt Cressy said.
“This is not a victimless crime, the money stolen was meant for legitimate businesses and the loss of these funds has flow-on effects for everyone in the community.”
ATO spokesperson and SFCT Chief John Ford said “This was a deliberate criminal choice that has been punished by the courts. Stealing revenue undermines the funding of essential services across the country.”
The SFCT is an ATO-led joint-agency taskforce. It brings together the knowledge, resources and experience of relevant law enforcement and regulatory agencies to identify and address the most serious and complex forms of financial crime.
The AFP-led CACT was formed in 2011 as part of a multi-agency crackdown on criminal assets, bringing together the resources and expertise of the AFP, ATO, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, AUSTRAC, and Australian Border Force.
Together, these agencies trace, restrain and ultimately confiscate criminal assets.
For more information on the SFCT, including the identikit outlining key financial crime personas, visit ato.gov.au/SFCT.
This matter was prosecuted by the CDPP.Guilford man receives one year and ten months imprisonment for defrauding the ATO of more than $3 million.