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Inland Revenue welcomes Alex Swney sentence of five years seven months' jail for tax evasion

Inland Revenue has welcomed today's sentencing of Alex Gordon Swney to five years seven months in jail for failing to pay $1.8 million in tax.

Speaking outside Auckland District Court, Inland Revenue Group Tax Counsel Graham Tubb said he welcomed the sentence, describing it as the result of great work by investigators from several agencies.

"New Zealanders can be confident that people like Swney will be caught," Mr Tubb said.

"Swney deliberately tried to cheat the system and not pay his fair share of tax - tax that funds vital services like schools, hospitals and welfare services.

"The small minority who try to evade paying tax take every step to hide their actions. Swney was no exception. But thanks to the hard work of Inland Revenue's investigators, he has been caught. He has not got away with it."

Mr Tubb said Inland Revenue had effective systems and tools for detecting tax evasion, and would continue to develop its capabilities to combat those who try to cheat the tax system.

"I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our investigators, who discovered and stopped Swney after initially detecting a fake invoice he'd provided to Heart of the City.

"Inland Revenue takes criminal activity like this extremely seriously and will continue to use new tools to identify and combat these patterns of offending."

The former Heart of the City chief executive had pleaded guilty in January to four representative charges of tax evasion.

Inland Revenue would be working to recover the $4.6 million Swney had stolen, which included outstanding tax, interest and penalties, Mr Tubb says.