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Accountant receives prison sentence for tax fraud

A Perth-based accountant has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for obtaining more than $2 million through fraudulent tax returns.

Tax&Compliance Lara Bullock 26 June 2017
— 1 minute read

Peter Stamatopoulos pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage of more than $2 million in Perth District Court last week.

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Judge Michael Bowden sentenced Mr Stamatopoulos to eight years’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four years, and handed down a reparation order to the Commonwealth in the amount of $884,664.97.

From 2011 to 2015 Mr Stamatopoulos abused his position as a director of an accounting firm to lodge fraudulent tax returns on behalf of family members and clients without their consent or knowledge.

He amended company, trust and individual income tax returns to claim non-existent imputation credits, then subsequently transferred the fraudulently obtained refunds to several accounts he controlled.

According to the ATO, the accounting firm immediately reported Mr Stamatopoulos to the relevant authorities when they found out what he was doing, which resulted in the return of $211,000 to the ATO.

The ATO also worked with the Australian Federal Police to execute search warrants and recover a further $815,000 using the Proceeds of Crime Act.

ATO deputy commissioner Will Day said the ATO will pursue and bring to justice those that commit any kind of tax fraud.

“When anyone claims more than they should, they are depriving the Australian community of vital funding. Fraud of this magnitude is very damaging to the Commonwealth and honest taxpayers,” Mr Day said.

Accountant receives prison sentence for tax fraud
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Tax&Compliance