Brisbane man cops jail time for $1.2M tax fraud

A 51-year-old Brisbane man has been sentenced to 7 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.2 million in reparations after he was convicted of fraudulently obtaining and attempting to obtain more than $1.2 million from the ATO.

On 22 March 2019, Stephen Mungomery appeared in the Brisbane District Court which heard that between March 2009 and October 2012, he lodged 46 Business Activity Statements (BAS) on behalf of his wife’s business, Gourmet Providores. In doing so, Mr Mungomery included expenses incurred by his sole trader entity Epicure Consulting and Training Solutions.

In attempting to substantiate his claims, Mr Montgomery produced 24 invoices issued by Epicure Consulting. The invoices accounted for 92% of all expenditure and totalled $13,767,466 in sales - including $5 million for website development and $2.6 million for franchise development.

However, those invoices bore no commercial reality and were never actually paid. In fact, the court heard that the initial Gourmet Providores website was actually created by another company for $7,885. The franchise development claims were also held to be fraudulent.

Mr Mungomery was subsequently jailed for 7 years and ordered to repay the money to the ATO.

ATO Assistant Commissioner Peter Vujanic asserted that this case signals a warning to all Australian’s that those caught breaking the law will be held accountable, even if it means pursuing an action in the criminal justice system.