Ex-Cop and Security company boss for the high jump


Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples exiting Manukau District Court Photo/Stephen Cook

A FAILED Auckland businessman is facing the possibility of a lengthy spell behind bars for ripping off the tax department more than $300,000.

Paul Thomas Staples, 52, will appear in the Manukau District Court next month for sentencing on charges of forgery, tax evasion and knowingly providing false information to Inland Revenue – offences which carry maximum penalties of up to ten years imprisonment.

In April this year Auckland man Andrew McGirr was jailed for more than two years for defrauding Inland Revenue of nearly $40,000.

Also in April, former Auckland accountant Paul Lawrence was sentenced to more than two years behind bars after claiming more than $278,000 in fake charitable tax donations.

Staples offending trumps both that of Lawrence and McGirr, not only because more money was involved but because of the deliberate and premeditated nature of his actions over a sustained three-year period.

Between September 2008 and August 2011, Staples – a discharged bankrupt with a history of cooking the books – filed no less than 27 fraudulent income tax and bogus GST returns with IRD under three different companies.

The deception even extended to Staples claiming a salary as a shareholder of a company when he wasn’t one, preparing false sale and purchase agreements, falsifying solicitors settlement statements and forming and registering companies for tax purposes when he was bankrupt and prohibited from doing so.

Worse still, Staples has no assets so the chances of him making restitution to IRD are virtually nil.   

Over the past two decades, Staples has worked mainly in the security industry. Wherever he’s gone trouble has followed with reports of illegal business practices, general mismanagement and companies not being registered for tax purposes with IRD.

In spite of his poor track record in business, since 2013, Staples has been employed full-time as general manager of a company called Luxotico HK Ltd in China, which is purportedly owned by his brother.

However, what the company does is a mystery. It is listed as a ‘private company’ but there is no reference anywhere to what type of business it is involved in or what role Staples has.

According to the summary of facts obtained by Whaleoil, Staples offending began with a residential property investment company called STH Investments Ltd.

Up until October 2011, Staples wife Jean was listed as the company’s sole director – a move designed to shield and protect her husband from issues arising from the manner in which the company conducted its affairs.

In September 2008, Staples registered the company for GST and between then and May 2011 he claimed $90,175 in refunds from bogus returns filed with IRD.

An inspection of the company bank statements showed STH Investments Ltd existed in name only – the company had no taxable activity, and no assets or income apart from GST refunds which for the most part were always transferred into the personal account of Staples’ wife and used to pay personal expenses along with a bank loan for a property the couple had bought in Botany.

But the issues didn’t stop there. In March 2009 Staples filed an income tax return declaring a loss of $554,878 with a net tax benefit of $166,242. There was nothing in the way of evidence provided to IRD to support claims the company had run at a loss that year.

In relation to STH, Staples was subsequently arrested and charged under the Crimes Act on one count of using forged documents.

That charge related to a GST refund of $64,555 he claimed on behalf of STH in September 2008. After IRD reviewed the claim, it emerged that Staples had told his wife to supply falsified documents to IRD to support the return.

The documents included a forged sale and purchase agreement for the Botany property and a forged settlement statement.

Staples later admitted he had written the date of September 4, 2008 on the false sale an purchase agreement sent to IRD, purportedly showing the company had purchased the Botany property on that date, when in fact it had been purchased some months earlier by the company.

In its evidence, IRD said the GST refund was released on the basis of the dates given with the funds distributed for the personal benefit of Staples and his wife.


cookStephen Cook is a multi award winning journalist and former news editor and assistant editor of the Herald on Sunday.


Disclosure: Cam Slater was previously in business with Paul Staples in a security company

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