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Attempt to claim false refunds leads to home detention

MEDIA RELEASE 

30 January 2014

Deliberate attempt to claim false refunds leads to home detention

A nightclub operator claims has been sentenced to 6 months home detention and 200 hours community work after he impersonated someone else to make false GST refund claims.  

Raymond Vincent Bishop was sentenced in the Christchurch District Court yesterday after earlier pleading guilty to three charges, and one representative charge, of providing false GST returns and one charge of forgery.

Group Manager Investigations and Advice, Karen Whitiskie, said that Bishop’s prosecution is a warning to those who deliberately break the law.

“Bishop’s offending began when his Taupo nightclub, The Town House, got into financial trouble.  It was at this point that he started filing false GST returns, calling Inland Revenue and impersonating someone else, and illegally claiming taxpayers’ money,” Ms Whitiskie said.

“In June 2011, Bishop filed a false GST return claiming a refund in the name of Clubbing 101 Limited, although this company had been established by an associate of his.”

Ms Whitiskie said that Bishop continued the pattern of filing false GST returns in July and August in the name of Clubbing 101.

“Before filing the July refund claim, he sent Inland Revenue a false invoice, again in the name of Clubbing 101, for the purchase of a helicopter.

“He contacted Inland Revenue claiming to be his associate in order to obtain his false refunds using the excuse that he needed the money to pay for the helicopter.”  

Ms Whitiskie said that Bishop claimed GST refunds totalling $83,480, of which, $30,279 was paid into Clubbing 101’s bank account. This amount remains outstanding.

“When questioned by Inland Revenue, Bishop admitted that he filed the false returns, and that he needed the money to pay off his debts.

“This was no excuse for trying to cheat the system.  We appreciate that sometimes business will get into difficulties.  Bishop should have come and talked to us when he got into financial trouble and we could have discussed his options. Instead he tried to get taxpayer money to which he was not entitled and ended up in court.”  

ENDS

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