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GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme

  • November 24 2020
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GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme

By Cameron Micallef
November 24 2020

A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to five years imprisonment after conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth of more than $5 million through the goods and services tax refunds.

GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme

GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme

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  • November 24 2020
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A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to five years imprisonment after conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth of more than $5 million through the goods and services tax refunds.

GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) alleges that over a two-year period, Michael Ray had illegally obtained personal identifying information and used it to create false entities and register them for GST.

Mr Ray would then lodge business activity statements to claim false GST refunds, which were directed into bank accounts created through the stolen identity.

In total, the scheme intended to defraud the Commonwealth of more than $5 million.

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) and ATO joint investigation, known as Operation SPINEL, identified and charged Mr Ray in May 2017, along with two other members of the Victorian-based fraud syndicate.

The verdict was rendered by the Melbourne County Court on Monday, 23 November.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Ian Read said this is a successful result under the partnership of the ATO and AFP, who work together to investigate serious criminal activities.

“Tax crime affects the whole community by reducing the revenue that is available to fund essential community services. We know the majority of people are honest, but there are a small percentage of people who deliberately abuse the tax and super system for their own financial benefit. Today’s sentencing shows that these people will be held to account.”

Mr Ray was charged after detectives identified he had attempted to obtain a share in over $5 million and dishonestly obtained a share in more than $2.5 million from the GST fraud scheme which had operated between 12 November 2010 and 14 December 2012.

Police executed search warrants at a number of Melbourne properties and safety deposit boxes, seizing more than $1.5 million in cash.

GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme
GST fraudster cops 5 years in jail over $5m scheme
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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