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May 16, 2010

Australian accountant jailed in tax haven case

Accountant Trevor Thomson from Perth, Australia, has been sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to committing a A$27m ($23.7m) tax fraud.

Thompson was sentenced by the Supreme Court of Western Australia for conspiring to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth between the 1999 and 2001 financial years.

Australian Crime Commission executive director of serious organised crime Michael Outram said that through the use of false documents, Thomson deliberately attempted to hide profits generated by his clients’ businesses and knowingly misled the Australian Government to ensure his clients did not pay their required tax.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said Thomson’s sentence demonstrates the commission’s expanding ability to trace fund flows around the world.

“This sentencing sends a clear message to participants and promoters of complex offshore schemes that they will face serious consequences if they attempt to deliberately seek to avoid their obligations to the Australian community,” D’Ascenzo said.

The case forms part of Operation Wickenby, a taskforce investigating abusive secrecy haven schemes.

Thompson’s jail term was reduced from three years and three months due to his co-operation with authorities and his guilty plea.


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