A 65-year-old property developer from Glen Waverley was sentenced yesterday in the County Court of Victoria to 6 years and 9 months in jail for tax fraud.
Mr Allan Dalton was convicted of obtaining and attempting to claim nearly half a million dollars in Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds.
Mr Dalton was brought on as a property developer and accountant by the directors of Greenhills Grange Pty Ltd (Greenhills), to assist with the completion of the first phase of a project to build twelve residential townhouses.
The project had run into financial difficulties and Mr Dalton convinced the directors that he had extensive experience in property development and accounting and would be able to get the project back on track.
Having no prior experience in the property development industry or as an accountant, Mr Dalton sought the services of an external accountant to lodge business activity statements (BAS) on behalf of Greenhills.
Between March 2010 and June 2011, sixteen false activity statements were lodged on behalf of Greenhills. Mr Dalton overstated the expenditure of Greenhills to obtain $479,714.84 in GST refunds. During this period, Greenhills was only entitled to $52,500 in GST refunds. The refund was subsequently transferred to Mr Dalton’s personal bank account and other bank accounts for which Mr Dalton was a signatory.
Mr Dalton was given a reparation order for $479,714.84, the full amount that he illegally obtained.
Mr Dalton was convicted of knowingly providing false information to his accountant to commit tax fraud for his own personal financial gain.
ATO Acting Assistant Commissioner David Mendoza welcomed the sentence handed down and said it was commensurate with the seriousness of Mr Dalton’s crimes.
“Mr Dalton deliberately engaged with an external accountant and knowingly provided false information to him to obtain a personal financial advantage.
“As this case demonstrates, if you provide false information to your advisor you are breaking the law. We will hold you accountable and you will be pursued through the criminal judicial system,” Mr Mendoza said.
If you have any information which may indicate tax fraud or evasion, find out how to report it by visiting ato.gov.au/tipoff. Reports can be made to the ATO anonymously.