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Representative Image (Pixabay )
Representative Image (Pixabay )

Conman in Australia jailed after audacious 27 crore fake GST refund heist

He was sentenced to five years in prison.

How an Aussie man tried to defraud Commonwealth of 27 crore with GST refunds

A remarkable con job came to light in Australia where a 38-year-old man from Victoria was sentenced to five years in jail for conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth of A$ 5 million (approx. 27 crore) through GST refunds.

According to a report on Yahoo Finance, the 38-year-old man will serve five years in jail. The conman, Michael Ray, had obtained personal information from his victims and used them to create false entities and register them for GST.

He went on to lodge fake business activity statements to claim GST refunds, which were then sent to bank accounts created with the aforementioned stolen identities. The fraud took place between November 2010 and December 2012.

The investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) found that he managed to obtain a share in more than A$ 2.5 million. He was sentenced to five years in jail with three-year non-parole period.

The police executed search warrants at several Melbourne properties and seized A$1.5 million in cash.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Ian Read said: “Tax crime affects the whole community by reducing the revenue that is available to fund essential community services. We know the majority of people are honest, but there are a small percentage of people who deliberately abuse the tax and super system for their own financial benefit. Today’s sentencing shows that these people will be held to account."

He had added: “A$1.5 million has been recovered and those who had their identity compromised were provided support to help get their affairs back on track. This is an excellent result."

Also read: The problem with tough plans against GST fraud in India

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