Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Inside Australia's biggest tax sting

We recently blogged at length about Project Wickenby, Australia's biggest ever tax and corruption investigation. Now the Australian Financial Review has a massive, in-depth report into the project. The first part is entitled Revealed: inside Australia's biggest tax sting. Wickenby led to 2,800 audits, raked in over $500 million, and so far sent 18 people to jail. The article is a humdinger - but because it's behind a subscription wall, we can't provide much more than a detail or two.

Such as this:
"You could see just how easy it was for someone to come here with a laptop, sign some people on and suddenly all the documentation gets done overseas . . . there's nothing more cancerous - once these things catch on, they become like wildfire," tax commissioner Michael D'Ascenzo recalls.
Heavily featuring some of our favourite offshore jurisdictions like Jersey, Switzerland, Vanuatu and the British Virgin Islands, with tales of re-invoicing, sham arrangements, a yacht called Black Snake, and much more, the article is filled with colourful anecdote, such as one ending with this:
"In hindsight, the best person to recruit into an offshore tax fraud is probably not a Mormon missionary."
Once we've read all the reports - we think there are more to come - we'll provide commentary. This series will undoubtedly become an important case study in the annals of offshore crime.

We can so far find a several links on this - with more to come. Unfortunately, you will need a subscription to access them.


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