Tax refund fraud syndicate ends in jail sentence

A man has been sentenced to prison following his part in a complex refund fraud syndicate that used identity crime to impersonate taxpayers and lodge fraudulent refund claims.

Kritsakul Thavapitak was sentenced in the NSW District Court to two years imprisonment, according to an announcement from the ATO and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP.)

The matter was investigated by the ATO culminating in money-laundering charges.

Over a two-month period in 2010, Mr Thavapitak received and dealt with $82,879 in fraudulent tax refunds.

According to the announcement, the fraudulent tax refunds stemmed from a series of frauds committed on the ATO, involving the lodgement of 13 false income tax returns on behalf of 13 “unknowing or unwitting” taxpayers.

The tax refunds were paid into 10 separate bank accounts controlled by Mr Thavapitak and spent by him, mostly via ATM and bank branch cash withdrawals.

The judge ordered that Mr Thavapitak be released on a recognizance release order after serving 15 months in custody, on the condition that he pay a security of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for nine months, and to also pay reparation of $82,879 to the Commonwealth.

“Most people do the right thing, but those who intentionally commit tax fraud are stealing from the entire community and will be brought to account for their actions,” said ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston.

“We use sophisticated data analytical models to detect this type of activity and work closely with law enforcement and a growing network of partners to investigate and prosecute these criminals. We will use the full force of the law when required,” he said.

James Carter, deputy director, revenue and benefits fraud at the CDPP said “this prosecution demonstrates the seriousness of fraudulent conduct undertaken for personal gain”.

 

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