Second successful prosecution under Operation Elbrus

Today Aaron Paul has been sentenced at the Parramatta District Court to three years and four months’ jail for dealing in proceeds of crime in excess of $200,000, in connection with Operation Elbrus.

Mr Paul pleaded guilty to dealing with money and property associated with proceeds of crime between 2016 and 2017.

The matter was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Operation Elbrus is an investigation into a large scale and organised tax fraud conspiracy, which is alleged to involve a group that used payroll services companies to divert pay-as-you-go withholding tax and goods and services tax owed to the ATO.

Operation Elbrus, which was uncovered through a joint ATO and AFP investigation in May 2017, is a key focus of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce.

Fourteen individuals have been charged as part of the operation.

Paul’s conviction marks the second resolution under Operation Elbrus. Joshua Kitson, the former general manager of Plutus Payroll, who pled guilty to conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth in August last year and was sentenced to four years and six months’ jail, with a non-parole period of three years.

Chief of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce Will Day welcomed the sentence handed down today.

“These sorts of crimes impact on real people,” Mr Day said.

“Tax fraud removes money from the revenue system that could be used by Government to fund essential services and initiatives to benefit the Australian community.”

“These outcomes highlight the commitment of government agencies involved in the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce to bring the most serious offenders of tax fraud to account,” Mr Day said.

The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce is a joint agency taskforce that aims to disrupt and respond to illegal phoenix activity and offshore tax evasion, as well as addressing cybercrime.

“The SFCT investigates the most serious offenders of financial crime and brings these criminals to account, as demonstrated by today’s outcome. It protects the public finances of Australia by addressing serious and significant risks to Australia’s tax and superannuation systems,” Mr Day said.

“The taskforce uses the combined intelligence and specialist powers of taskforce agencies to target sophisticated international and domestic enablers driving attacks on the Australian tax and superannuation systems.

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