ATO deputy commissioner's son has been arrested on fraud charges

ATO Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston will be charged over the alleged fraud

One of Australia's senior tax officials has been caught up in a major fraud investigation involving his son.

Australian police have smashed a massive fraud syndicate and seized planes, guns, and luxury cars, they said on Thursday, with a top-ranking tax official and his son embroiled in the scam.

Police have charged nine people and seized cash, homes, cars and luxury items.

Their father has been issued with a court attendance notice for allegedly publicly abusing his position as a public officer, the Australian Federal Police said.

If found guilty, he faces a maximum penalty of five years' jail.

Nine people have been arrested over a $165 million tax fraud investigation.

Mr Cranston, "Crano", has been with the Tax Office for more than 35 years, and was running the ATO's group targeting compliance by wealthy people and families until Wednesday.

The arrests were made after an eight-month investigation, codenamed Operation Elbrus and two other ATO officers have been suspended for allegedly accessing information at Cranston's request.

The AFP says it will take time to see where the conspiracy ends and whether further charges should be laid.

And what gains they were: raids in Sydney yesterday seized 25 motor vehicles, a dozen motorcycles, 18 residential properties, over 100 bank accounts holding over $15m, $1m of cash from a safe deposit box, firearms, jewellery, vintage wines and even a pair of aircraft.

News Corp. reported that the scammers believed they had struck a sweet spot where each individual tax underpayment was too small to trigger a tax office response.

Police allege that the fraud involved a company established by the syndicate to provide payroll services to legitimate clients.

Oops! Bella Hadid suffers wardrobe malfunction at Cannes
Ratajkowski is also wearing faux bangs like Hadid did a year ago for her Cannes debut (in that iconic red silk dress). Bella Hadid's arrival at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival was one that turned heads, including her own.

Conspirators are accused of hiding diverted taxpayer funds through "lavish lifestyles", said police.

Some money was allegedly laundered through Rommark Corporation, a property development firm run by eastern suburbs identities Michael Teplitsky and Boris Markovsky.

"The scale of this allege fraud is unprecedented", AFP deputy commissioner Leanne Close told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.

Adam Cranston is due to face Sydney's Central Local Court on Thursday morning charged with conspiracy to defraud the commonwealth.

The seven others arrested on Wednesday include Dev Menon, Devyn Michelle Hammond, Daniel Rostankovski, Jason Cornell Onley, Christopher James Guillan, Aaron Leo Paul and Daniel Simon Hausman.

The man from Sutherland and the man from Waterloo have also been charged with an offence related to blackmailing, as has a 47-year-old from Woollahra.

Tax Office investigators, who helped the federal police during the investigation, estimate the amount of tax obligations not paid to the Tax Office to be $165 million.

It's alleged Michael Cranston accessed restricted information on an ATO audit for his son, but police do not believe he knew about his son's alleged fraud syndicate.

"Michael was in shock when we spoke to him yesterday, as you would imagine, knowing what has happened to his son", she said. He has been charged with conspiracy to defraud.

ATO Second Commissioner Andrew Mills said two other ATO officers also were being investigated internally for potential code of conduct breaches.

When Australian payroll-for-contractors outfit Plutus Payroll stopped paying its customers, several pointed out that the company looked too good to be true - because it did not charge for its services.

Related News:

  • Trump vows to revive stalled Israel-Palestine peace process

    That could pose major domestic political headaches for Abbas, as he battles unpopularity and challenges from rival factions. MK Shuli Moalem-Refael (Jewish Home) was even more contemptuous of the Abbas visit.
    Tillerson: US reviewing climate change policy

    Tillerson: US reviewing climate change policy

    It noted "entry into force" of the pact "and its implementation", and called for global action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S.
    Rompers For Men: Your New Favorite Summer Outfit?

    Rompers For Men: Your New Favorite Summer Outfit?

    The cash is evidence that this long-embraced female fashion trend is coming soon to a bro near you at bars, beaches and festivals. Many public figures, including TV personality Steve Irwin and Sean Connery's James Bond, have rocked similar styles in the past.
  • Erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming Kurds

    Most recently, a CHP MP, Öztürk Yılmaz, criticized the governing party and Erdoğan for failing to stand up against the U.S. I would expect Erdogan to try and "talk Trump out of this" but even he has to know that this won't work", said Stein.
    Pokémon GO Rock-Types are Ready to Roll in New Event

    Pokémon GO Rock-Types are Ready to Roll in New Event

    From May 18 until May 25, trainers can catch a variety of Rock-types such as Geodude , Larvitar and more. Forbes , on the other hand, notes that all items in PokeStops are being sold with 50 percent discount.
    Salient features of ICJ's ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav case

    Salient features of ICJ's ruling on Kulbhushan Jadhav case

    Pakistan in its argument said India's application on Jadhav's death sentence was "unnecessary and misconceived". India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the ICJ outcome comes as a great relief to Jadhav's family.
  • New death in Venezuela puts toll at level of 2014 unrest

    Chavez dismissed those accusations as a right-wing campaign against him. "Venezuela will resolve its own internal problems". Diego Arellano, 31, was shot in the chest in San Antonio de los Altos, a Caracas suburb, according to prosecutors.

    White House goes blue to honor nation's police officers

    The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Both the President and Vice-President added flowers to a wreath that is now at the national law enforcement memorial.

    United States sticking by Iran nuclear deal is good news for Rouhani

    Under the terms of the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump also announced late Wednesday that the USA didn't intend to limit Iran's ability to sell oil.
  • Mexico's president calls for more protection of journalists

    Mexico's president calls for more protection of journalists

    Valdez's brother Rafael said the reporter had been "very happy" in recent days and had not indicated having received threats. Articulo 19 says 105 journalists have been murdered and a further 23 have disappeared since 2000.
    SK envoys to hold talks in China

    SK envoys to hold talks in China

    Moon said he would send a special envoy to Russian Federation soon and Putin said he would welcome the envoy. During their conversation, both agreed to pursue the goal of denuclearization of Korean peninsula.
    Whistleblower Chelsea Manning released after seven years

    Whistleblower Chelsea Manning released after seven years

    A US Army spokesperson confirmed that she left Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas in the early morning. This is because, during one of his last acts, President Barrack Obama, commuted her remaining years in prison.


Most liked

French right torn apart as Macron, PM prepare to name government
At least 24 Socialists are now campaigning for re-election under the banner of Macron's Republic on the Move party. Alexis Kohler, Macron's new general secretary at the presidential Elysee Palace, made the announcement Monday.

Trump Says 'Fast Decision' Possible On New FBI Director
Multiple officials, including Pence, said the president was acting at the behest of Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. But McCabe characterized the investigation as "highly significant" and assured senators that Comey's firing would not hinder it.

Puducherry Assembly passes GST Bill
Narayanasamy said, Puducherry was part of the GST council and Union Territory had been given the status of a state. Earlier this month, the Goa, Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh assemblies also passed the GST Bill, 2017.

Sanchez like a devil on the pitch - Wenger
The keeper saved 11 of them, so he did extremely well", Wenger told reporters . You will always have regrets because you could have one point more".

More immigrants arrested, fewer deported under Trump
The immigration agency also sought to highlight arrests of gang members and murder and child molestation suspects who were among those detained.

Oil prices dip as supplies remain ample despite production cuts
Though the deal proposed a cut of 1.8 million barrels, commodity analysts are of the view that this number could be increased. This is a perennial problem for the Saudi royal family, which relies on oil money to buy public support.

'ShadowBrokers' threatens to release more cyber attack tools
As the group wrote: "Each month peoples can be paying membership fee, then getting members only data dump each month". The rogue hackers have promised more details on their content-monetization strategy in June.

Ohio high school students get pepper-sprayed for class
In order to graduate from a career tech program in OH , students need 12 points, so the spray was probably well worth it for some. A video has gone viral showing more than a dozen OH high school students being pepper sprayed in the face.

Texas congressman calls for impeachment of President Trump
To do otherwise would cause some Americans to lose respect for, and obedience to, our societal norms. Maxine Waters (D-CA) as the two members of Congress who publicly support impeaching Trump.

Experience sees Real through Atletico cauldron and into final
After conceding two early goals against Atleti, the FC crew are unconvinced by Real Madrid's defence heading into the UCL final. Madrid sit second in La Liga to Barcelona but are level on points with their rivals and crucially hold a game in hand.

European Union says Philippines declines new EU grants
The scheme requires compliance with 27 worldwide conventions, which include a commitment to never reinstate the death penalty. Europe had been funding about 100 community projects across the country. "The Philippines is growing by leaps and bounds".

Arsenal players keen on Sanchez stay, says Koscielny
If Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal win their respective games, Man City will finish 3rd and Liverpool will finish 4th. Moyes said: "That's an insult to footballers".

Coetzee - It Doesn't Matter Who Boks Draw At RWC
The 12 teams who finished in the top three positions in their groups at the last World Cup automatically qualify. The action gets underway on September 20 2019 and ends with the final on November 2.

Ducks resting up for aggressive Preds down 2-1 in West
Carlyle said he thought his Ducks were flat with emotion and credited the Predators for taking that out of them. Or that they have a goalie in Pekka Rinne who can clean up any messes produced by the odd bad pinch.

North Korea ferry service docks in Russia on inaugural trip
Japan banned its port entry in 2006 after North Korea exploded a nuclear device and test-launched a number of ballistic missiles. This is the first service between North Korea and Russian Federation via water as transport via air and rail already exist.