‘Complex’ case sees tax fraudster convicted

In a long-running ATO investigation, one man has been convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth after failures to remit GST, and following previous offences for lodging over $3 million in fraudulent BAS statements.

Hightrade executive Song (or Peter) Chang was sentenced to five and half years in jail late last week.

According to a statement from the ATO, between 2002 and 2007, Mr Chang conspired to defraud the Commonwealth of $10.5 million by engaging in fraudulent behaviour during the construction of the Pokolbin golf course in NSW.

The fraud involved the use of multiple related companies which “grossly inflated” sale prices between themselves, and then failed to remit the GST to the tax office.

Further, Mr Chang’s companies failed to supply goods and services to the developments.

The ATO also found there were numerous other techniques and attempts to conceal the fraud, including large-scale round-robin type transactions.

Mr Chang is currently serving a five-year jail term for separate fraud crimes, which involve a Sydney property where he and his co-conspirators prepared and lodged approximately $3.1 million in fraudulent business activity statements (BAS.)

“This type of calculated behaviour undermines genuine businesses by heavily under-quoting and leaves business creditors and employees without their entitlements,” said ATO deputy commissioner Will Day.

“It also affects the entire community by taking away taxpayer money used to pay for essential services and infrastructure,” he said

 

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