Former Ryde mayor Artin Etmekdjian has been sentenced to seven months imprisonment for dishonestly attempting to influence a Commonwealth official.
The 55-year-old was sentenced in the Sydney Downing Centre Local Court, following an investigation by the ATO that the tax agent had backdated documents linked to the tax returns of a senior banker.
Mr Etmekdjian will serve his sentence by way of an intensive correction order, which allows offenders to serve their sentence through community service work, and supervision by a community corrections officer.
The verdict follows the sentencing of another tax agent last week.
Salvatore Arcuri was found attempting to lodge two tax returns to his own name, and was sentenced to 18 months with a minimum non-parole of 12 months.
Mr Arcuri is currently in custody for state-related fraud offences, and his pre-dated tax fraud sentence will be served concurrently.
ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston said the ATO will find and prosecute those who try to cheat the tax system.
“As tax agents, these people should have known better, and clearly understood that they were breaking the law. If you willingly try to cheat the tax system, we will make sure you face the consequences of your actions,” Mr Cranston said.
“You can’t hide from the ATO. We have sophisticated systems in place to detect this kind of activity and work closely with law enforcement partners to share data and investigate tax fraud and crime.”
The matters are also being referred to the Tax Practitioners Board.
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.