Lies upon lies upon more lies

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

LIES, lies and more lies.

Today in the final installment of our three-part investigation into notorious tax cheat Paul Staples, we reveal more details about the extraordinary lengths the 52-year-old went to in defrauding Inland Revenue out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Staples has admitted charges of forgery, tax evasion and knowingly providing false information to Inland Revenue – offences which carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment.

Between September 2008 and August 2011, Staples filed 27 fraudulent income tax and bogus GST returns with IRD under three different companies.

During that time he also claimed a salary as a shareholder of a company when he wasn’t one, falsified sale and purchase agreements and legal documents and registered companies when he was a bankrupt.

Inland Revenue has assessed the debt at around $320,000, but with penalties and interest it is likely to run to well over half a million dollars.

Two of Staples companies, STH Investments Ltd and 380 Express 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.   

In September 2008 Staples formed Voltage Security Ltd and appointed associate Hisham Jabbar as a director. Jabbar, an Iraqi immigrant who is unable to read or write English, retained that role until August 2010 until he was replaced first by Staples, then his wife Jean and later Tony Leamalu.

From the get-go, Staples made a point of not playing by the rules.

According to the police summary of facts, Staples was signing off sales contracts as a ‘director’ of Voltage Security when he was not registered as a director with the Companies Office.

But the deception didn’t end there.

In July 2009 Staples, filed a $18,279 GST refund claim with Inland Revenue. When IRD carried out a review of the claim, Staples prepared fake tax invoices, which he then ordered Jabbar to file with IRD.

Obviously aware that IRD were on to him, Staples filed nil GST returns the following year, reporting nil sales and nil expenses.

In September 2010, Staples advised IRD the company had ceased trading. He then registered the company under the name of First Response Security Services Ltd but continued to use Voltage Security’s IRD number.

Until November 2011, Staples traded “outside the tax system”. In early 2012 he re-registered for GST and filed outstanding returns for the company.

Core GST debt on late filed returns totaling $69,090 and income tax debt and penalties still remain unpaid.

In September 2012, Staples filed an income tax return for First Response reporting a loss of $22,369 – but like previous claims the loss was not supported by evidence and didn’t cross-match with sales reported for GST.

The correct 2011 income tax position of the company was reassessed by IRD as $58,325 worth of taxable income. The net tax effect of the total tax discrepancy between the loss filed and tax payable was $24,208.

Staples will appear in the Manukau District Court on December 3 for sentencing.

 


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

 


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

59%