Obtaining Financial Advantage – Fraud

201611.25
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Fraud, Australian Tax Office, Obtaining Financial advantage by Deception, Sentencing

Our client was charged with Dishonestly Obtaining a Financial Advantage by Deception from a Commonwealth entity, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

This offending concerned obtaining Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds from the ATO, and attempts to obtain GST refunds, over a period of several years, when there was no entitlement to such refunds.

Our client, together with a co-accused, registered their businesses for GST, and nominated their own accounts for receipt of payments from the ATO, including GST refunds. Thereafter, a monthly paper BAS was lodged with the ATO for the business over the period of the offending.

The total value of the fraud and attempted fraud amounted to in excess of $400,000.00.

Our solicitor, Ms Pisasale, analysed the brief and after extensive negotiations with the Commonwealth prosecutions (CDPP), resolved the 68 charges to three representative counts of Obtaining a Financial Advantage by Deception x 2 and one count of attempting to Obtain a Financial Advantage by Deception.

On the plea in the County Court, the Crown submitted that current sentencing practices were in the order of sentences of 12 months’ gaol and higher.

It was conceded by Ms Pisasale that gaol was appropriate however after submissions on behalf of our client the court ultimately imposed only a brief custodial sentence and a five year $2000.00 ‘Recognisance Release Order’ requiring our client to serve only 6 months’ custody prior to being released into the community.

This was an exceptional result for this category of offending and reflects the commitment of our solicitors to ensuring that justice is administered fairly and in accordance with our client’s interests.