The ATO reported that on 14 November 2018, a Perth stockbroker was sentenced to five years’ jail, for committing large-scale tax fraud, while living in the United States more than a decade ago.

Gary Parsons, 53, was extradited from the US, in 2017, following a decade-long joint investigation by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Australian Federal Police (AFP). The investigation commenced in 2007, when Mr Parsons was a resident in the US, and submitted fraudulent claims for Goods and Services tax (GST) refunds in excess of $528,000.

Mr Parsons was initially due to stand trial in Perth on 9 October 2018, but changed his plea, to guilty, the following day, to a reduced number of fraud charges.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Vujanic said:

  • the long-running investigation utilised AUSTRAC data, and involved more than 70 witnesses, 800 exhibits and protracted negotiations with overseas partners to extradite Mr Parsons from the US.
  • The ATO works in partnership with Commonwealth agencies in the cross-agency Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, which focusses on operational responses to high priority serious financial crimes.
  • Australia is also a member of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5) alliance. Under the J5, the ATO and Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission work with partners from the US, UK, Canada and the Netherlands to combat international and transnational tax crime and money laundering through increased enforcement collaboration.
  • The introduction of these working relationships and taskforce has enhanced inter-agency capacity and capability to identify, prioritise and treat threats posed by serious financial crime to the Australian economy.

[ATO website: Perth GST Fraud; LTN 220, 14/11/18; Tax Month – November 2018]


CPD questions (answers available)

  1. Was a Perth stock broker sentenced to 5 years jail for GST fraud (fraudulent claims for input tax credits)?
  2. What was the sum of the fraudulent claims?
  3. From where did he have to be extradited to stand trial?
  4. How long did the investigation take?
  5. Did the investigation involve Austrac and involve 70 witnesses and 800 exhibits?
  6. Did he plead guilty?

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