Businessman sent to jail for his role in tax evasion
Businessman sent to jail for his role in aggressive
13 September 2013
Businessman sent to jail for his role in aggressive tax evasion case
Inland Revenue says that the sentencing of Paul William O’Connor to three years and six months in prison for his part in an aggressive tax evasion scheme in the Wellington High Court today sends another clear message to those who break the law.
O’Connor was found guilty on a total of 14 charges of tax evasion on 26 July as part of the same case involving Scott Anderson and Brent Gilchrist. Anderson was subsequently jailed for his role in the scheme last month.
"This case involved very calculated and deliberate attempts to get substantial sums of taxpayer money based on transactions that were false. This was naked fraud and a sustained course of evasion activity by a successful businessman as the Judge said," Group Manager Assurance, Patrick Goggin said.
"The sentence shows that courts view this sort of offending seriously and the prosecution taken against O’Connor shows that Inland Revenue will hold people to account if they break the law."
Mr Goggin said that O’Connor willingly allowed his companies to be used to create fictitious expenses that were offset against their income streams.
“This activity included filing false tax returns, hiding assets, and the late filing of returns to allow his business to be repeatedly restructured to conceal the proceeds of fraud.
“The transactions were motivated by greed and were structured so that a very profitable business could pay little or no tax thereby cheating other taxpayers.”
Inland Revenue is currently working to recover the money that is outstanding.
Mr Goggin said that when someone is not paying their share they are taking money from essential public services like schools and hospitals.
“As the Judge said, society depends on honesty within the tax system, and O’Connor’s actions were an affront to those who pay their fair share. Our customers can be confident that Inland Revenue will detect those evading their obligations and those cheating on their taxes should be aware that we will take action when we detect deliberate non-compliance."