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Auckland accountant gets four years, eight months’ jail for tax fraud

A self-employed Auckland accountant has been sentenced to four years and eight months in prison after receiving nearly $500,000 in tax refunds based on fraudulent claims.

Richard John Lewis Frost was sentenced in Waitakere District Court today after pleading guilty to multiple charges of filing false or forged documents to Inland Revenue.

Patrick Goggin, Inland Revenue Group Manager Investigations and Advice, said Frost completed more than 150 false IR3 returns and personal tax summaries in order to claim tax refunds, and filed nearly 300 false donations tax credit claims.

Frost made the fraudulent claims in the names of a number of individuals, some of whom were his own clients while others were misled into providing personal details. He used the information he held on these people to claim tax refunds they weren’t entitled to, and had them paid into bank accounts he controlled.

“Frost created a complex plan to defraud taxpayers by lodging multiple bogus tax returns and donations claims. He traded on his role as a trusted adviser and completely abused these people’s faith in him,” Mr Goggin said.

“On the face of it, the documents he filed in the names of other people appeared genuine. But through diligent work by our investigators, we discovered what Frost had been up to.”

Mr Goggin said the case also showed the importance of keeping personal information secure, and the potential consequences of handing over such details.

To date, Frost had yet to repay any of the $494,711 he dishonestly obtained.

Media contact: Pete van Schaardenburg 04 890 1698 021 348 696