A Central Coast accountant and registered tax agent has been charged by NSW Police Financial Crimes Squad detectives investigating alleged tax-related frauds totalling almost $600,000.
The Green Point man was granted strict conditional bail to appear at Gosford Local Court on Friday, 20 May 2022.
Earlier this year, detectives from the State Crime Command’s Financial Crimes Squad established Strike Force Windorra after receiving reports of fraudulent activity against clients of a registered tax accountant.
Detectives have been assisted by the ATO throughout the investigation.
“As part of ongoing inquiries, police executed search warrants at an Erina business and a Green Point home in March, seizing documentation and electronic devices for further forensic examination,” NSW Police said.
“Following extensive investigations, a 54-year-old man was arrested at Gosford Police Station on Friday 8 April 2022, where he was charged with 23 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception and knowingly dealing with proceeds of crime.”
Police will allege in court that the man submitted fraudulent tax returns that had been altered without his clients’ knowledge in order to obtain a financial benefit.
It is further alleged that the man made a number of fraudulent applications to the COVID-19 JobKeeper scheme on behalf of clients without their knowledge.
This comes as a former swimming teacher was sentenced to three years’ jail for obtaining and attempting to obtain more than $250,000 in fraudulent tax refunds.
The ATO is also cracking down on GST fraud through Operation Protego and said it had identified and was taking strong action to respond to significant fraud involving participants inventing fake businesses to claim false refunds.
The ATO is warning the community not to engage with this fraud and for participants to come forward before it takes tougher action.
“Anyone who has engaged in the fraud should call the ATO’s dedicated hotline on 1300 130 017,” the ATO said.
“Tax fraud, evasion and crime is not victimless, it’s a serious offence that takes money away from the community and away from essential services like health and education.
“If you have given your myGov details to a criminal we can assist you to protect your identity from being used to commit further crimes, including further tax crime in your name.
“We take all reports of tax crime seriously. If you have any information to share, you can do so by visiting ato.gov.au/tipoff or phoning 1800 060 062. Reports can be made anonymously.”