An Auckland second-hand car dealer has been sentenced to community detention for tax fraud.
Vladislav Alexandrovich Levada was sentenced in the Manukau District Court on 4 September to the maximum possible community detention sentence of six months.
Levada created a false identity, Stephen John Isaacs, using a false New Zealand driver’s licence he had obtained by using a fake US drivers’ licence as proof of identity. He then set up two companies, Prestige Auto and Global Freight, and listed Isaacs as director and shareholder.
Levada also used the NZ drivers’ licence to open bank accounts and to receive correspondence from Inland Revenue. Levada had twice been disqualified from driving in New Zealand under his own name and said he thought it was a good idea to have a spare in the name of Isaacs in case he was disqualified again.
He claimed GST refunds totalling $309,250.05 Prestige Auto ($235,870.39) and Global Freight ($73,379.66). However, neither company ever traded.
However, with the added financial stress of supporting Mrs Levada’s family in Ukraine he continued to file false GST returns to relieve his financial situation. He told investigators he knew he was stealing.
He repaid $309,250.05 which was the full amount owing.
In April 2021, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) charged Levada with six charges of knowingly making a false statement in a document required for the purposes of the Companies Act 1993. These were the documents needed to incorporate Prestige Auto and Global Freight.
He plead guilty and was sentenced to serve four months’ home detention in May last year.