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Man used forged documents to falsely claim GST refunds

A 25-year-old Auckland man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for tax fraud involving more than $200,000.

Aaron Roydyn Ryder pleaded guilty to 16 charges of knowingly providing false GST returns to obtain GST returns he was not entitled to from 2014 to 2016 and 16 charges of knowingly using forged documents to support the false GST claims.

He was sentenced in December (18th) in the Auckland District Court and as well as the prison term was ordered to pay $40,000 in reparations.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Tony Morris says the department started looking into Ryder’s claims in November 2016.

“IR found a suspicious pattern of significantly high expense claims with nil or low reported income, resulting in consistent refunds. We asked for bank statements, expense and income invoices and written explanations of the source of funds, and expense payments.

“Ryder gave Inland Revenue documents but the problem for him was that original versions of the same documents, which Inland Revenue directly obtained from third parties, were materially different.

“He told investigators that his family was in difficult times and he felt the need to provide for them, but there was no evidence at all that the funds were used for that purpose”, Tony Morris says.

Defence counsel told the court Ryder panicked when the IR began to investigate and forged the documents, but IR pointed to the number of times he forged documents as much more planned than panicking.

Tony Morris says the judge also noted the Court of Appeal, in James v R6, held that an effective tax system is essential to the proper functioning of society in general.

“It also noted nothing is more corrosive of people’s trust in the tax system than the sight of people apparently earning high incomes and evading payments of tax.”

The end sentence for Ryder was 25.5 months imprisonment on 32 charges involving $208,274.