Will rock music entrepreneur Glenn Wheatley go to jail for tax fraud? The answer, if recent sentences are anything to go by, is that it’s a distinct possibility. And Mr Wheatley is likely to get a jail term of some length if Victorian County Court Judge Tim Wood determines jail time is warranted.
Mr Wheatley has pleaded guilty to one count each of defrauding the Commonwealth, one count of failing to aid to the utmost of his power in the administration of his property and affairs contrary to the Bankruptcy Act, and dishonestly obtaining a gain from the Commissioner of Taxation. All up he faces a maximum penalty of 16 years, but he won’t get anywhere near that.
The quantum of Mr Wheatley’s fraud is however over $300,000, and even allowing for the discount on sentence he gets for co-operation with the prosecution and for his plea of guilty, he might still get a jail term of more than two years.
But what about the references from celebrities like Bert Newton and John Farnham? That is to be expected in a case like this and the courts tend not to be overawed by such high-flying referees.
Here are some of the recent sentences handed down by the courts for tax fraud:
Sydney tax agent Simon Minh Phung 34, was sentenced in June this year to five years jail at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court for identity related income tax fraud totalling $565,000.
In March this year, an Adelaide man was sentenced by the Adelaide District Court to two years and 10 months jail, with a non-parole period of 12 months, for tax fraud of $323,912.
In September last year, a Sydney company director was sentenced to five and a half years jail, with a three and a half year non-parole period, by the Downing Centre District Court for falsely claiming over $600,000 in GST refunds.
In August last year, a Newcastle businessman pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and obtaining property by deception and was jailed for two and a half years, with fifteen months non-parole period and a 4 year good behaviour bond, by the Newcastle District Court for tax fraud of $139,852.
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