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Community detention for tax fraud

22 AUGUST 2019

A former New Plymouth company director who used forged documents to try get GST refunds she wasn’t entitled to has been sentenced to community detention for tax fraud.

Lee Hinehou Hare was sentenced yesterday in the Christchurch District Court to 6 months community detention and 200 hours community work.

She was convicted under the Crimes Act 1961 of false accounting, using a forged document and using a document for pecuniary advantage. Under the Tax Administration Act 1994, she was convicted of knowingly providing false information to obtain a GST refund.

Hare was the sole director of Leeda Lifestyle Ltd and operated the Quest apartment franchise in Hamilton from 2011 until the franchise was sold in March 2015.

In December 2016, 21 months after the sale, Hare filed a claim for a $22,582.78 GST refund.

IR spokesperson Karen Whitiskie says Hare then repeatedly supplied forged documents to support the claim.

“In January 2017, she gave IR two forged bank statements and two forged GST invoices. She also dishonestly provided another invoice followed by three more forged bank statements and provided the company’s GST accounts which included fictitious transactions that she entered in to the accounts.

“The same pattern occurred in May 2017 when the defendant filed the company’s GST return for the period ended 31 May claiming a GST refund of $2,091.76. More forged documents followed.

“When she was told Inland Revenue was checking the documents she provided to us with the bank and others, and that she could not prevent those checks, Hare tried to withdraw the refund request before ultimately admitting to providing forged documents.

“This was a cynical and systematic attempt to gain what was a relatively small amount of money. It shows the depth to which she was prepared to go to rip off tax money which is needed to pay for the things that make New Zealand a great place to live,” Karen Whitiskie says.

“Paying tax is important and everyone plays a role in helping Inland Revenue protect the tax system and making sure everyone pays or receives their fair share.

“If you have information about tax evasion or fraud you should report it to us. You can report tax evasion or fraud anonymously online or contact us to report by phone, in writing or to set up a meeting.”

ends

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