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2007 media releases

Prison sentence upholds integrity of tax system, says Inland Revenue
23 January 2007

People working in the tax system who try to cheat must expect to be dealt with severely by the courts, Inland Revenue said today after an accountant was sentenced to four months imprisonment for fraud.

The tax system relies on honesty and ethical behaviour from both taxpayers and from the professional people working as tax agents and accountants. The prison term imposed today sends a strong message that abusing the trust of clients to defraud the tax system is unacceptable.

Accountant Henry Ropati was sentenced in the Waitakere District Court today (January 23) after earlier pleading guilty to four charges under the Crimes Act of using a document with intent to defraud. Mr Ropati had filed false tax returns, claiming false tax refunds for his own benefit, and claiming clients' losses as his own.

Tracey Lloyd, of Inland Revenue, said Mr Ropati was in a position of trust as a professional accountant and had breached the trust that his clients put in him.

"The sentence signals to the community that tax fraudsters will be caught and the Courts will deal severely with them, especially where there is a breach of trust", said Ms Lloyd, Area Manager, Investigations.

The judge said defrauding the revenue was not a victimless crime. She gave Mr Ropati leave to apply for home detention.


For further information contact:

Alison Welch
Senior Media Advisor (acting)
Inland Revenue
Phone (04) 890 1698

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Communications and Inquiry
Inland Revenue

To make a media query:
Phone 04 890 1698 or email
Please note, the email address is only for enquiries from the news media. It is monitored during normal business hours 8am - 5pm Monday to Friday.

P O Box 2198
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Date published: 26 Jan 2007

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