Paul Thomas Staples: Dishonesty right to the bitter end

JAILED TAX cheat Paul Thomas Staples invented a story about his wife having breast cancer so he could con money out of sympathetic friends to pay his bills.

That’s the latest disturbing allegation to surface following the three-year prison sentence imposed on Staples a fortnight ago for half a million dollars worth of GST and income tax fraud.

Between September 2008 and August 2011, Staples filed 27 fraudulent income tax and GST returns for companies that existed in name only.

He also falsified sale and purchase agreements, claimed a shareholders salary when he wasn’t one and registered companies when he was a bankrupt.

But it is his conduct in recent months that gives possibly the best insight into what a unconscionable and ruthless character Staples is when his back is to the wall. After being well and truly caught for ripping off the Government, Staples tried thieving off his employer – and worse still his mates.

During sentencing in the Manukau District Court a fortnight ago, Staples lawyer tried to argue that his client had done everything in his power to try and repay the $477,000 he defrauded from the taxman.

Paul Pati tried to present to the court an image of a man who was devoted to his friends and family – ‘a good husband and father’ who was well liked by people.

It’s now emerged that nothing could be further from the truth.

A source close to the case this week revealed the despicable lengths Staples went to in the months leading up to sentencing to try and get IRD off his back. 

He reportedly told friends, colleagues and his employer that his wife Jean – herself lucky not to be jailed for her part in fleecing taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars – had developed breast cancer.

Staples used the story to get time off work – and do the dirty on the company that had kept him in work for at least 18 months.

Back in August when Staples appeared in court for a sentence indication he was told he needed to take urgent steps to try and at least make some form of restitution to IRD. He was told there was no guarantee that’d keep him out of prison, but it would show some commitment to repaying what he owed.

In order to do that, it is understood Staples attempted to persuade one of his employer’s key clients to sign a three-year contract with a company he had just set up.

It is believed he then tried to cover his tracks by telling his employer, Eastside Security, the client had decided to take his business elsewhere.

But if the betrayal wasn’t bad enough, Staples then reportedly had the cheek to ask the boss of Eastside Security if he’d be willing to sign a management contract guaranteeing him 30 per cent of the profits.

It was a last-ditch effort to try and demonstrate to the court he had steps in place to make restitution.

In the meantime, Staples was telling friends and anyone else with a chequebook that his wife had cancer – and happily accepting money from them.

IRD saw right through the lie and demanded Staples provide them with some medical evidence to prove his wife was ill.

That evidence never materialized. In fact, when Jean Staples appeared at her husband’s sentencing a fortnight ago she never looked better.

Just weeks before sentencing, the truth came out – and Eastside Security sent Staples packing. His employer did not want to discuss the reasons why they parted company but did confirm Staples had kept him in the dark about the charges he was facing and the fact he was looking at a lengthy prison sentence.


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

 

 

Disclosure: WOBH Editor Cam Slater was once in business with Paul Staples in another security company.

 


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