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Arrest pair in huge tax fraud bust

A MAN and a woman from Earlwood, both aged 50, were among a dozen people arrested in raids across three states on Tuesday as part of a multi-agency federal investigation into an alleged $17 million tax fraud operation.

In December 2018, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) began looking into an alleged criminal syndicate using labour hire and payroll companies associated with the building and construction industry, to defraud the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) through illegal phoenix activity.
The syndicate’s principals – including people who were allegedly of long-term interest to transnational and serious organised crime investigators – were allegedly identified before a whole-of-government approach to the investigation was established.
Through the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT), the AFP worked with the ATO and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to uncover the allegedly elaborate criminal operation which included money laundered through overseas bank accounts.
The alleged conspirators included a mix of financial industry experts and former bankers with the level of expertise required to operate and facilitate the complex fraud.
Investigators also seized 12 properties, 17 vehicles, a caravan and a boat and froze 65 Australian bank accounts with a total value of $21 million.

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