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Deputy commissioner cautioned son ahead of tax fraud arrest


An AFP affidavit released by the Supreme Court of NSW yesterday has revealed that the now former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston told his son “you just gotta be really careful mate” ahead of his arrest as part of a tax fraud syndicate. 

By Lara Bullock 11 minute read

Yesterday, Adam Cranston appeared before Justice Elizabeth Fullerton at the Supreme Court of NSW for his directions and hearing on his role in a tax fraud syndicate.

The Supreme Court of NSW released a 275-page Australian Federal Police affidavit that included a transcript of an intercepted telephone call between two phone numbers subscribed to Michael Cranston and Adam Cranston on 2 May.

The phone calls reveal Michael Cranston cautioning Adam Cranston just two weeks before his arrest which was the result of an eight-month joint investigation between the AFP and the ATO.


“You just gotta be really careful mate, at the moment. You’re high risk, because you’re connected. Because Synep owns Plutus, you own Synep,” Michael Cranston said to his son.

“They connect, mate. I could mount a good case that you own Synep, which owns Plutus, who’s responsible for 1,200 people through subcontractors and not paying PAYGW.”

Michael Cranston also warned Adam Cranston about unexplained wealth to which Adam Cranston said: “I’ve got no unexplained wealth, mate. All my tax returns and everything that I own has been after tax dollars, mate. There’s no unexplained wealth. Zero.”

Michael Cranston responded saying: “You’ve got a lot of f****** cars, mate.”

Michael Cranston recently resigned from his position at the ATO on the same day that his case appeared at the Downing Centre local court.


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Lara Bullock


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