The Brisbane District Court has today sentenced Anthony Lee to five years and 10 months in jail for tax fraud when he was the director of a cattle purchasing and exporting business, Agri Beef Cattle Company Pty Ltd, and the director of a business that administered the exports, HQB Exporters Pty Ltd.
As the director of Agri Beef Cattle Company Pty Ltd, Mr Lee lodged five BAS statements in which he fraudulently claimed $735,049 in GST refunds and attempted to obtain a further $185,235. He also provided false statements to the ATO to substantiate his fictitious expense claims.
As a director of HQB Exporters Pty Ltd, Mr Lee lodged a BAS statement in which he fraudulently claimed $85,259 in GST refunds. He had overstated the business expense claims and did not provide any tax invoices to substantiate the claim.
Mr Lee, a New Zealand resident, has been ordered to repay the money he fraudulently claimed.
The ATO has confirmed that Mr Lee was not an Australian resident at the time of the offence.
ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Vujanic welcomed the jail term handed down to Mr Lee.
“Mr Lee set out to deliberately break the law for his own benefit and, even when caught, refused to take responsibility for his crimes,” Mr Vujanic said.
“Contrary to popular belief, tax crime is not victimless: when you claim a refund you’re not entitled to you are stealing from the whole community and disadvantaging Australians who do the right thing.
“Intentionally claiming a tax refund by providing false information to the ATO is not just deceitful, it’s illegal.”
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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.