ATM Tax Fraud Case Opens in Australia

January 20, 2010 Offshore BankingTax HavensTaxation in AustraliaTaxation in Switzerland

Step 3: Select account type and enter the amount you wish to withdrawalThree Australian men are under trial for allegedly evading AUD3.7 million in taxes, which was brought back into Australia through ATM withdrawals and orchestrated through a Swiss-based accountant.

On January 18th a court case was opened concerning Daniel Aran Stoten, Adam John Hargraves and Glenn Luke Hargraves, who are alleged to have evaded nearly AUD4 million in taxes over the period of four years. The three men, who ran a phonebook publishing company, are accused of grossly overstating their business expenses and funneling off funds to offshore accounts. According to the prosecution, the defendants used a Swiss accounting firm to create an intricate web of overseas business entities which would provide them false expense invoices (practice based on the corruption of legitimate international price transfer protocols). The stated expenses were inflated figures of real invoices issued to the trio from a genuine Chinese-based company. As the fraudulent amounts were paid, money would be siphoned off to settle the real expenses, with the remainder being deposited in offshore accounts.

The hoarded money was accessed by the three defendants through credit card and debit card withdrawals from Australian ATMs. It is alleged that the withdrawn money was used to buy several development properties, including Glenn Hargraves’ $1.1 million personal home.

The case is being heard at the Australian Supreme Court in Brisbane. The three men are each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud and one count of conspiracy to dishonestly cause loss to the Commonwealth. They have so far pleaded not guilty.

Photo by McColin