AFP seizes $15.8m from Plutus Payroll founder

The Australian Federal Police has successfully confiscated $15.8 million in assets from one of the principal conspirators of the Plutus Payroll tax fraud syndicate.

The AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce has seized six properties, three vehicles, multiple bank accounts, investment accounts and shareholdings, as well as several luxury items including watches, from Plutus Payroll founder Simon Anquetil.

Mr Anquetil was one of the chief architects of a tax fraud scheme that defrauded the Commonwealth of more than $105 million over three years by using payroll services companies to divert pay-as-you-go withholding tax and goods and services tax owed to the ATO.

The 38-year-old was sentenced to seven years and six months in jail in July last year, with a non-parole period of five years.

Mr Anquetil’s confiscated assets can now be sold, with proceeds to be redistributed by the Minister for Home Affairs to support crime prevention, law enforcement and other community initiatives.

The estimated $15.8 million in assets include a three-bedroom apartment in Lavender Bay that sold for $2.45 million in 2017 and a $1.68 million two-bedroom apartment in Circular Quay.

Three vehicles confiscated include an Infiniti QX70, an Infiniti Q60 and an Infiniti QX30.

AFP Criminal Assets Confiscation national manager Stefan Jerga said his team was committed to ensure that criminals are deprived of the benefits of their illegal activities.

“Fraud is not a victimless crime; it is a crime that impacts directly upon the community,” Mr Jerga said.

“The confiscation of these assets serves as a clear message to organised criminals: You will not only risk being charged and incarcerated for your fraudulent activities, you will also see your houses, vehicles, savings and personal items taken away from you.”

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