According to the ATO, the payroll officer, Faisal Hasan Rasel, lodged 29 false income tax returns under the identity of 28 people, obtaining $64,541 in fraudulent refunds.
“Between late June 2015 ATO and August 2015, Mr Rasel was in a position of trust and had access to other people’s particulars. Using this information, Mr Rasel undertook large scale fraud, lodging income tax returns in the names of 28 different people,” the ATO said.
“As a result of the false lodgements, Mr Rasel fraudulently obtained a total of $64,541, which he directed to a number of different bank accounts opened in the name of others, including in the name of a false identity assumed by Mr Rasel. Further refund payments, totalling $117,824 were stopped by the ATO.”
The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and has resulted in Mr Rasel receiving a four-year sentence for five offences relating to the fraudulent lodgement of income tax return and falsely claiming refunds.
Acting assistant commissioner Megan Croaker welcomed the sentence handed down, noting it serves as an important reminder for those looking to cheat the tax system.
“This sentence demonstrates that the ATO will take firm action against those who attempt to obtain fraudulent refunds,” Ms Croaker said.
“Mr Rasel was in a trusted position, which he exploited for his own gain. This behaviour shows blatant disregard for the law and will not be tolerated.”
Ms Croaker also used the opportunity to urge Australians to regularly check their myGov account and report any suspicious activity.
“The effects of identity crime can be devastating. We want to make sure your information is safe and your myGov account is only accessed by you,” she said.
“You can also take steps to protect your identity including setting up your myGovID with a strong identity level to protect your personal information.”