Tax commissioner Michael Carmody really set the hares running on Inside Business
yesterday when he told Alan Kohler that 500 people were involved in
supposedly dubious offshore tax avoidance schemes which were initially
reported to involve $300 million and 12 “high net worth individuals.”

Four
law firms have been raided, as have the offices of entertainment
impresario Glenn Wheatley. Boxing legend Kostya Tszyu has been ensnared
and there are some interesting dots to join.

Melbourne lawyer to
the celebrity set, Michael Brereton, has sprinted to the Federal Court
attempting to avoid ATO scrutiny, and his former high profile client
Glenn Wheatley was certainly working hard to play it all down as you
can see from this story in TheDaily Telegraph story on 5 July. He was quoted as follows, discussing a tax office raid in early June:

“It’s all very straightforward.”
“They haven’t indicated to me that they are looking for anything specific.”
“They’re just checking.”
“As far as I can tell it’s just routine and nothing else.”
“I’m surprised this hasn’t happened earlier in my life.”

Wheatley
stressed that he hasn’t been a client of Brereton’s for ten years
although they were certainly joined at the hip financially for many
years in the 1980s and 1990s. John Farnham and Glenn Wheatley have been
working together for three decades so let’s hope Whispering Jack
doesn’t get dragged into this ever-expanding net as well.

Peter Fray

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