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Labour Hire Business Owner Jailed

An Auckland man has been jailed for five and a half years on tax fraud charges.

Surasak Pootinun was sentenced today (1 November 2023) on 69 different tax evasion and forgery charges involving nearly a million dollars.

Pootinun ran several labour hire businesses providing labour to growers and market gardeners in South Auckland.

GST returns filed by his tax agent on his behalf included expenses for payments purportedly made to various sub-contractors, but the sub-contracting arrangements were in fact just a ruse to falsely claim additional costs in the GST returns.

Pootinun also provided forged documents made to look like invoices from sub-contractors.

Pootinun deliberately filed false GST returns and failed to account for withholding tax over three-year period.

He tried to justify the figures in the false GST returns he filed by providing forged invoices to the IRD. This resulted in unpaid tax of $919,994.38.

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