IRD

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.    Read more »

Tax fraud, forgery and benefit rorts all part of the package

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

Paul Thomas Staples and Jean Staples leave the Manukau District Court

THE WIFE of a notorious Auckland tax cheat spent five years on the domestic purposes benefit while she was still living with her husband – but was never charged with benefit fraud.

Between 2006 and 2011 Jean Staples, the wife of 52-year-old former bankrupt Paul Staples, received more than $100,000 in taxpayer-funded benefits while she was helping her husband cook the books for companies set up by him under her name to defraud IRD.

Paul Staples will appear in the Manukau District Court on December 3 for sentencing on charges of forgery, tax evasion and knowingly providing false information to Inland Revenue – offences which carry maximum penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment.

Court records show that 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.

It appears a deal may have been negotiated between the prosecution and Staples where in return for guilty pleas on all counts no charges were laid against his wife, who judging by the police summary of facts was a party to most of the offending.    Read more »

Anmol Seth: “ I am not a billionaire. I am not even a ‘thousandnaire’… let’s just say I am worth nothing,”

Anmol Seth: The Kingi of Con

Anmol Seth: The King of Con

by Stephen Cook

THE MAN fast earning a reputation as one of this country’s most notorious conmen is denying he’s a fraud – but admits posting fake Facebook photos and pocketing clients GST refunds.

After being subjected to a week-long onslaught of negative publicity, Anmol Seth finally agreed on Friday to sit down in person to discuss claims he’d conned millions out of vulnerable and hard-working Indian investors.

The 90-minute interview quickly degenerated into farce with the diminutive king of con – who claims to be just 28-years-old – skirting around most of the tough questions and refusing to give straight answers to even the simple ones.

Creating the illusion of fantastic wealth and success is, of course, chapter one in any scammer’s handbook.

But as we quickly discovered, dig just below the surface and what you will find with Anmol Seth is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a rather disturbing enigma.   Read more »

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Time to shoot the Sherriff – A Special Investigation Ctd

grant thornton

by Stephen Cook

A LEADING accountancy firm has been implicated in an alleged plot to swindle hundreds of thousands of dollars from Inland Revenue.

Liquidators from Grant Thornton, which boasts annual worldwide earnings of $4.7 billion and has been acclaimed as one of the best managed international firms, are among those under investigation by IRD and the Serious Fraud Office for their part in an alleged conspiracy to rip off the taxman.

IRD has invoked wide-ranging powers under section six of the Tax Administration Act to investigate experienced liquidators Greg Sherriff and Tim Downes and their handling of what should have been a relatively simple company liquidation back in 2013.

Two years on the case is attracting plenty of attention with claims liquidators in conjunction with an Auckland law firm systematically robbed the company blind and withheld money that should have gone to the taxman.

Read more »

IRD bribery & fraud scandal: A Special Investigation, Ctd

inland-revenue-website-address

by Stephen Cook

INLAND REVENUE is officially investigating the actions of those implicated in a messy bribery scandal currently threatening the integrity of the New Zealand taxation system.

Top-level discussions were held in Auckland yesterday between senior IRD investigators and a number of complainants over the alleged criminal conduct of those involved in what appears to be an elaborate plot to defraud taxpayers out of millions of dollars.

But more importantly, at stake is the integrity of the taxation system and the right of all taxpayers to have their liability determined “fairly, impartially and according to law”.

If IRD were to ignore the allegations, it could open itself up to potentially billions of dollars worth of claims from aggrieved taxpayers wanting the same preferential treatment enjoyed by the company at the centre of the latest scandal.

The company had tax liabilities of close to $300,000 but successfully negotiated a final settlement of $30,000.  Read more »

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IRD bribery & fraud scandal: A Special Investigation, Ctd

hare

by Stephen Cook

SHOCK DETAILS have emerged of a failed plot by the husband of a top Government official to extort $500,000 from an Auckland lawyer implicated in a messy bribery scandal.

The man at the centre of the blackmail allegations is Graham Charles Hare, the husband of deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall – one of the most influential figures in the public health system.

The allegations form part of the backdrop to a complex web of betrayal and deception implicating liquidators, lawyers, and IRD staff.

The extortion plot was allegedly hatched during discussions between Hare and a businessman, who’d been threatening to lay a complaint with the Law Society about the actions of an Auckland lawyer involved in winding up his company.

Hare allegedly told the man that the lawyer in question had recently inherited $1 million and was vulnerable to attack.

A Law Society investigation into his involvement in the bribery scandal would not only cost him his license but also his lucrative practice and his home, which was heavily mortgaged.

Hare then allegedly told the businessman he’d be willing to act as a facilitator in the plot to extort money from the lawyer. He would approach the lawyer, advise him of the Law Society complaint and then convince him to pay $500,000 hush money, which he’d then split.

The businessman didn’t agree to the deal with Hare, claiming at the time he couldn’t “trust the bastard”.    Read more »

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Corruption, bribes and two IRD officials – A Special Investigation

by Stephen Cook

CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS have been levelled against two rogue Inland Revenue staff involved in investigating the tax affairs of an Auckland company at the centre of a messy bribery scandal.

The department is refusing to confirm or deny claims the two forensic investigators were part of an elaborate plot to defraud the taxman out of nearly $200,000.

The bribery allegations form part of the murky backdrop to a complex web of betrayal and deception implicating liquidators, an Auckland lawyer, the two IRD staff along with another man, who for legal reasons cannot be named.

Whaleoil understands complaints have now been filed with the Police, IRD and the Law Society over the actions of various parties involved in the scandal.

An IRD spokesman said due to taxpayer secrecy provisions in the Tax Administration Act it was unable to comment “on matters relating to the tax affairs of individuals, organisations or businesses”.

Even in cases involving Inland Revenue and high-profile customers, the department could not comment on a customer’s affairs, the spokesperson said.

The comments do nothing to shed any light on claims two staff conspired with an Auckland man posing as a lawyer to rip off the tax department to the tune of almost $200,000.    Read more »

If “Interesting” and “Unusual” saves the taxpayer $3M per year, I’m all for it

Inland Revenue Department staff are being hauled before their manager if they have even one day off ill, as the tax agency grapples with its high level of sick leave.

The meetings, dubbed “welcome back conversations”, are part of a new initiative – Supporting Positive Attendance – introduced after the IRD noticed skyrocketing rates of staff taking sickies.

After starting the project two years ago, it had gone from second worst to third worst department in the public sector. The tactics have raised the eyebrows not only of staff, but also of an employment expert who says the department is dancing close to the edge when it comes to obligations under the Holidays Act and possibly the Privacy Act.

But the IRD is standing by its policy and says the initiative has saved taxpayers $6 million in two years.

The IRD had one of the highest sick leave stats in the sector.  That needed attention.   Read more »

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The gummint is comin’ for the property speculators

Not much point voting National to avoid Labour’s Capital Gains Tax then?

Property speculators are being warned by Finance Minister Bill English to pay their fair share of tax or they will be hunted down.

Mr English claims there is already one in place, and is contemplating more funding to enforce it.

“That’s a matter that’ll be discussed in the run up to the Budget,” he says. “It is important that people understand there is an existing capital gains tax on those who trade houses and make gains on it.”

Labour supported a more comprehensive capital gains tax going into last year’s election, but no longer does.

“The capital gains tax isn’t the answer to it – it’s going to be other stuff that can have an impact right now,” says leader Andrew Little.

“Go after the property speculators – the people owning multiple homes, buying house after house after house.”

Mr English says this is what he plans to do.

This is nothing new.  Other than Bill and Andy agreeing on something that is.   People who buy and sell houses for the purpose of generating increased equity have always been required to pay tax on their capital gains.   Read more »

Would you opt out of paying tax if you could?

mike_cunnington_1_social

The IRD’s Deputy Commissioner Mike Cunnington has said, “The vast majority of New Zealanders want to pay their tax and get it right.

This made me think.  To some degree taxes are like an insurance policy.  We get free medical care when we need it, yet we pay towards the medical care of others when we are healthy.

What would happen if you were allowed to opt-out of all taxation, but in return, had to shoulder the actual cost of living your life?   Additionally, you’re not allowed into any local park without paying and all parking costs money, even on residential streets. Read more »