The man, 39, pleaded guilty in October 2022 to two counts of dealing in the proceeds of crime and the sentence imposed today (31 March, 2023) by the Parramatta District Court.
A joint AFP and ATO Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) investigation began in 2021 into fraudulent Business Activity Statement (BAS) refunds lodged under multiple companies identified by the ATO.
Further enquiries revealed the bank account details associated with those companies had been changed to ones controlled by the man.
The matter was also investigated by the AFP-led Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce (CACT), who sought and obtained restraining orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) over multiple bank accounts and a luxury vehicle. The assets, worth a combined value of about $2.73 million, were suspected to be the proceeds of the fraudulent activity.
AFP Detective Superintendent Kristie Cressy said the AFP took a collaborative approach to stamping out fraud against the Commonwealth.
“The ATO-led Serious Financial Crime Taskforce is a joint partnership, that allows us to leverage our combined forces and skills to identify and stamp out criminal behaviour,” Det Supt Cressy said.
“This is not a victimless crime, the money stolen was meant for legitimate businesses and the loss of these funds has flow-on effects for everyone in the community.”
ATO spokesperson and SFCT Chief John Ford said:
” This was a deliberate criminal choice that has been punished by the courts. Stealing revenue undermines the funding of essential services across the country.”
The SFCT is an ATO-led joint-agency taskforce.
It brings together the knowledge, resources and experience of relevant law enforcement and regulatory agencies to identify and address the most serious and complex forms of financial crime.
The AFP-led CACT was formed in 2011 as part of a multi-agency crackdown on criminal assets, bringing together the resources and expertise of the AFP, ATO, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, AUSTRAC, and Australian Border Force.
Together, these agencies trace, restrain and ultimately confiscate criminal assets.
For more information on the SFCT, including the identikit outlining key financial crime personas, visit ato.gov.au/SFCT.
This matter was prosecuted by the CDPP.
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#AceNewsReport – Dec.08: Australia should use its influence to press Vietnam to take concrete action to reverse its abysmal human rights record,” said Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch. “Many people in Vietnam have been persecuted simply because they tried to exercise basic civil and political rights that Australians often take for granted.”
#AceDailyNews reports that Human Rights Watch said today: Australia should Press Vietnam to Respect Rights at the dialogue over Hanoi Detaining at Least 176 Political Prisoners, Detainees
In a December submission, Human Rights Watch urged the Australian government to use the dialogue to press Vietnam to end its systematic suppression of fundamental civil and political rights, including freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and religion and belief. Australia should also demand that Vietnam immediately release all political prisoners and detainees, and revise its problematic penal and criminal procedure codes to bring them into line with international human rights standards.
An Australian citizen, Chau Van Kham, has remained in a Vietnamese prison since January 2019 on terrorism charges for his involvement in Viet Tan, a peaceful political organization focused on democracy and human rights in Vietnam. Securing his release, and enabling him to return to Australia to be reunited with his family, should be a top priority for Australia in the dialogue.
Australia’s bilateral relationship with Vietnam has continued to grow in recent years. In 2021 Australia was one of the top 10 trade partners with Vietnam. In November, the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne visited Hanoi, but she did not raise human rights concerns publicly during her visit.
#AceWeatherDesk says that after a bridge collapses, people rescued from floodwaters in New South Wales and Queensland according to Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is carefully watching catchments as far south as Victoria after days of drenching rain across eastern Australia……
People in two cars had lucky escapes when a bridge they were driving over collapsed in floodwaters in New South Wales.
A ute fell into the water as the Nyrang Creek Bridge, between Canowindra and Eugowra in the state’s central west, gave way.
The passenger, a 30-year-old man, climbed out the car window, before pulling the female driver to safety.
She was taken to Orange Hospital in a stable condition while the man did not need to go.
A second car following the ute had no time to stop and was forced to jump the collapsing bridge.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) is watching a number of catchments across southern Queensland, New South Wales and eastern Victoria.
Senior meteorologist Sarah Scully said, in NSW, a warning issued for the Hunter River at Muswellbrook, Denman, Singleton, and Maitland has been upgraded, with major flooding expected on Saturday night.
“The good news is that the main rain band has moved offshore, however showers and thunderstorms remain on the forecast for much of eastern Australia.”
In the NSW central west, warnings have been issued for the Lachlan River with major flooding expected at Jemalong and moderate flooding at Namami and Condobolin.
Major flooding is also expected at Mandagery Creek at Eugowra on Saturday afternoon, while moderate flooding is occurring along the Belubula River at Canowindra.
With soils across most of eastern Australia near saturation and dams at capacity, any further rainfall risks exacerbating already swollen rivers.
Warragamba Dam spills
Sydney’s main water catchment, Warragamba Dam, is overflowing after reaching capacity about 9pm Friday.
“Projections hold steady around at an estimated peak rate of 60-80 gigalitres per day,” WaterNSW spokesperson Tony Webber said.
“We expect some impacts in the river downstream.”
With another 5-10 millimetres expected to fall on Greater Sydney, there is potential for minor flooding on the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley at North Richmond and Colo.
#AceNewsReport – Nov.26: James-Robert Davis was arrested in March and initially faced three charges related to alleged slavery and sexual servitude, accused of manipulating a woman in the Sydney suburb of Maroubra over several years to 2015.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Says says according to ABC News an alleged sex ‘cult’ leader James-Robert Davis faces 18 new charges, court hears
But those charges against the 41-year-old former ADF soldier were withdrawn in September and alternate charges were laid.
At the time of his arrest, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) issued a statement saying the alleged victim had been manipulated for a “so-called cult”.
Mr Davis faces more than 20 other charges, including sexual intercourse without consent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, torturing an animal and detaining a person.
He’s also been charged with offences related to the alleged possession of unauthorised firearms and ammunition.
Central Local Court on Thursday heard 18 additional charges were laid on Monday, although the court did not hear what those were.
The ABC understands Mr Davis now faces a total of 58 charges.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) requested an extension of time to file a charge certificate, a document to confirm which charges will proceed.
Mr Davis’s lawyer, Abigail Bannister, said she was “concerned” about the extension because the required six-month period for the certificate to be issued had “long passed”.
Ms Bannister said that meant the magistrate needed to be satisfied an extension was in the interests of justice, a factor she said wasn’t addressed in the DPP’s material filed to justify the move.
“We’re not hearing about the complexity of the matter, what we’re hearing about is a delay in bringing charges,” she said.
There was also a delay in analysing electronic devices and transcribing interviews which took place “months ago”, Ms Bannister added.
“It seems to be more of a resource issue than a complexity issue.”
A court has previously heard the case was “very defendable” and Mr Davis was living with multiple partners in “a consensual polyamorous relationship” which “may include BDSM”.
Mr Davis, who is also an ex-prison guard, referred to himself as the patriarch of a group known as the “House of Cadifor”, according to investigators.
In arguing for the extension, DPP solicitor Laura Goodwin revealed there were six complainants in the matter and some of their recorded statements were “of considerable length”.
One interview lasted more than 11 hours and took place over three days in August, the court heard.
Ms Goodwin highlighted the seriousness of the offences, some of which carry a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, along with the “voluminous” brief of evidence compiled.
“Crucial parts are very detailed and give rise to a number of complexities,” she said.
The state DPP had also only been involved in the matter for five weeks, the court heard.
Magistrate Robert Williams granted an extension for the certificate to be filed until December 21.
He took into consideration that legislation setting down time limits is designed to provide “certainty” to defendants.
However, Magistrate Williams also said it was clear interviews with six complainants had led to the delay.
“I do note the charges before the court are serious matters,” he said.
According to court documents, Mr Davis’s weapons charges relate to his alleged possession of items including three smoke grenades, a signal flare, an automatic rifle and an unknown Chinese brand .22 air rifle, along with ammunition.
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm offences are alleged to have taken place as far back as August 2001.
Amongst the dozens of charges are also child pornography and kidnapping offences, along with several counts of using a carriage service to prepare or plan to engage in sexual activity with a person under 16.
Mr Davis did not appear in court and did not apply for bail.