The new Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, which began operating on 1 July 2015, will build on the success of Project Wickenby.
Project Wickenby commenced in February 2006, a Commonwealth cross agency taskforce was set up to combat international tax evasion, which posed a serious threat to the integrity of Australia’s tax and regulatory systems.
When it finished on 30 June 2015, it was the largest tax evasion investigation ever run in Australia’s history. It netted $2.29 billion in tax liabilities and recouped $985.67 million in outstanding revenue. A total of 46 individuals were convicted.
Project Wickenby enhanced the strategies and capabilities of Australian and international agencies to collectively detect, deter and deal with international tax avoidance and evasion.
It was also designed to improve community confidence in Australian regulatory systems by showing steps are taken to address serious non-compliance with tax laws, and to reform administrative practice, policy and legislation.
By prosecuting offences that arose from the taskforce’s investigations, we played a vital role in the project.
You can learn more about Project Wickenby on the ATO’s website.
- s.134.2 Criminal Code—dishonestly obtaining a financial benefit by deception
- s.135.1(5) Criminal Code—dishonestly causing a loss or a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth
- s.135.4(3) Criminal Code—conspiracy to cause a loss or a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth
- ss.400.3–400.6 Criminal Code—money laundering offences.
The maximum penalties for these offences are:
- 10 years’ imprisonment for s.134.2 Criminal Code
- 10 years’ imprisonment for s.135.1(5) Criminal Code
- 10 years’ imprisonment for s.135.4(3) Criminal Code
- 2–25 years’ imprisonment for ss.400.3-400.6 Criminal Code.
- Australian Tax Office
- Australian Crime Intelligence Commission
- Australian Federal Police
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission
- Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre
- Australian Government Solicitor
- Attorney-General’s Department
- R v Glyn Morgan Jones; R v Anthony Joseph Hili  NSW CCA 108
- R v Anthony Joseph Hili; R v Glyn Morgan Jones  HCA 45
- Milne v R  NSWCCA 24
- R v Boughen; R v Cameron  NSWCCA 17
- R v Lynette Liles  NSWSC 1249
- R v Paul John Gregory  VSCA 145
- R v Hargraves; R v Stoten  QCA 328
- R v Tatsuo Jo  QCA 356
- R v Steven Hawkins  NSWCCA 208
- R v Zerafa  NSWCCA 222
- Isbester v R  NSWCCA 230
- R v de Figueiredo  QCA303