2007 media releases
Third conviction in Rawleigh tax evasion case
23 November 2007
Former Rawleigh ML Marketing Limited (RML) managing director Wilbour Terrence Rawleigh has been sentenced to 12 months home detention after being convicted of tax evasion involving $539,123.
Rawleigh earlier pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court to six charges of aiding and abetting RML to file false GST and income tax returns, and one count each of failing to provide a personal income tax return, and filing a false income tax return, between 1997 and 2001.
The RML company, which is in liquidation, formerly controlled the Rawleigh brand in New Zealand. It was a multi-level marketing company that utilised distributors throughout New Zealand to sell toiletry and pharmaceutical products. RML sold the products to the distributors who could use the products themselves or on-sell them.
Rawleigh set up a company in Vanuatu to administer a range of extra bonus payments to RML's distributors throughout New Zealand. RML then claimed GST and income tax deductions on these payments, many of which were not paid to distributors. In addition, Rawleigh paid himself substantial bonuses but did not include them in his personal income tax returns.
In 2005, RML was convicted of 29 offences of filing false GST returns and five offences of filing false income tax returns. The following year, former accountant Bill Duncan was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to 25 charges of aiding and abetting RML in its offending.
Today's sentencing concludes five years of investigation and court proceedings against RML, its accountant and director. Inland Revenue has recovered most of the tax evaded through the receivership of RML.
RML is no longer associated with the Rawleigh trademark.
Inland Revenue Assurance Manager Raju Budhia said this offending is a clear example of an individual increasing his personal wealth at the expense of others. "This is a case of substantial evasion, with Rawleigh deliberately evading taxes and increasing his personal wealth at the expense of honest taxpayers.
Mr Budhia said the sentence sends a strong warning to others who consider evading their taxes. "Inland Revenue will take firm action against anyone who deliberately sets out to evade their tax obligations."
For more information:
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Other media releases this year
- Draft guidelines released for new R&D tax credit
- Man extradited from Australia to face tax charges
- Working for Families Tax Credits to be made early
- Inland Revenue alerts tax professionals
- 'Money man' behind major tax scam jailed
- Samoan chief receives two years' home detention
- Early working for families tax credits scheduled
- Cash businesses are in the spotlight
- Inland Revenue transfers first KiwiSaver funds to scheme providers
- Late filers advised to contact Inland Revenue
- Wellington Inland Revenue staff to centralise
- Christchurch businessman fined $20,000 on tax charges
- Hamilton JP jailed for two years for $1.1 million tax evasion
- Businessman pleads guilty to $1.3 million in tax charges
- Jail term extended for Tauranga tax evader
- Inland Revenue offers Language Line
- Inland Revenue wins prestigious IT award
- Inland Revenue simplifies tax with Business Is Booming
- Inland Revenue reassures people affected by weather
- Customers urged to contact Inland Revenue
- Inland Revenue issues GST statement on unconditional property sale agreements
- KiwiSaver information readily available from Inland Revenue
- Scott Anderson bankrupted for unpaid debt of $13 million
- Inland Revenue welcomes 'Trinity' court ruling
- Christchurch tourism operators' concern leads to community service for tax evader
- Inland Revenue welcomes prison sentence for GST fraud
- Levin man sent to jail over $45,000 in GST fraud
- Businessman who "undercut the opposition" jailed for tax fraud
- Accountant's low profits prompted tax audit
- "Not a lot" of effort to pay taxes results in jail term for tax evasion
- Tiler in court for keeping staff tax payments
- Northland flood victims should call if having problems with tax payments
- Tax agent fined $10,000 for refusing to cooperate with Inland Revenue
- Early Working for Families Tax Credits payments
- Nelson man in court for not passing on employees' tax payments
- Tax season underway
- Businesses foolish to try to suppress details of income
- Dairy owner in court for cheating on taxes over seven years
- Two years' prison for 146 tax offences
- Refusing to cooperate with Inland Revenue lands couple in court
- Prison sentence upholds integrity of tax system, says Inland Revenue
- Early family assistance payments
- Tax payments due on 7 February
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Date published: 23 Nov 2007
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