An individual, who was found guilty under s 135.4(5) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 of conspiracy to dishonestly cause a loss or risk of loss to the Commonwealth of potentially some id=”mce_marker”35m (as well as conspiracy to deal with the actual proceeds of crime from the conspiracy of id=”mce_marker”m), has been sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 11 years with a fixed non-parole period of 7 years imprisonment.

The conspiracy involved making false depreciation claims in the tax returns of a private company (of which the individual was a co-director) in relation to sham agreements to purchase medical technology whereby the depreciation claims were intended to be used to offset large taxable profits to be received by the company as unit holders in various trusts arising from their participation in certain financing transactions.

In handing down the sentence, the NSW Supreme Court emphasised that, having regard to the scale of criminality involved in each offence, of which the individual was convicted, such cases of serious revenue fraud required a sentence that reflected both the “denunciation” of the particular activity and that acted as a general and personal deterrence to those tempted to engage in such large scale tax fraud.

It also noted that his situation was a product of a “conscious decision” to pursue a fraudulent tax scheme on a large scale and that he engaged in the conduct “while holding an unshakeable belief in his intellectual superiority to all those around him”, including the ATO – and that this “was his undoing”.

(R v Dickson (No 18) [2015] NSWSC 268, NSW Supreme Court, Beech-Jones J, 20 March 2015.)

[LTN 56, 24/3/15] [IT 25/3/15]