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Wellington accountant sentenced on tax fraud charges
27 February 2009
A Wellington accountant and tax agent has been sentenced to six months home detention on tax fraud charges involving $183,155.
Graham Edward McCready was sentenced today in the Wellington District Court by Judge Behrens after earlier admitting 12 charges of providing false GST and income tax returns.
Inland Revenue Acting Group Manager, Assurance, Graham Tubb, said McCready abused his position and betrayed the trust of his clients.
"McCready deliberately set out to try to cheat the system for his own personal gain. Both Inland Revenue and the courts both take a very dim view of this sort of action."
"Our tax system relies on the honesty of the many professionals working in it, and both Inland Revenue and the public expect them to help uphold its integrity," said Mr Tubb.
McCready created business activities, and manufactured or overstated expenses for a number of his clients, in order to generate artificial income tax and GST refunds.
The clients had relied on McCready's advice and believed him when he told them they were entitled to the refunds. However, they often had no knowledge of which returns were being filed on their behalf or their contents, when the filing took place, or what refunds had been paid out by Inland Revenue.
In almost all cases, the bank account details McCready provided to Inland Revenue were his own, and when refunds were paid into the account he rarely passed them on to the individuals involved.
Instead, he used money from the refunds to pay his own personal bills.
Income tax refunds claimed, and other tax evaded by McCready through other taxpayers, amounted to $92,320. GST refunds totalled $90,835.
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