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Woman tax evader jailed

The Auckland District Court sentenced a woman last month to a year’s term in prison on proven charges of filing false GST returns.

Caroline Fanamanu pleaded guilty to eight charges of using a document for pecuniary advantage and falsely claimed $54,200.

Fanamanu was reportedly involved with two corporate entities and filed false GST returns and false supporting documentation to obtain GST refunds in their names.

Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officials interviewed her in January 2008, during which she admitted having submitted false returns and tax invoices for both entities.

Her modus operandi was to obtain quotations for various machines for screen-printing and other material from third parties and convert them into “tax invoices” on her home computer to substantiate false GST returns.

The Court heard that IRD had warned her several times not to file false returns.

IRD Assurance Manager (Investigations) Jonathan Matthews said the defendant had deliberately cheated the tax system.

“This sentence shows how seriously this sort of crime is treated. We have a number of measures in place to detect fraud,” he said.

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