Western Sydney man becomes 13th person charged in relation to $20 million fraud investigation

Fraud_BW

This is a Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) media release issued jointly by the Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office and Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

A 24-year-old from western Sydney is today scheduled to become the 13th person to face court for his alleged role in a deceptive $20 million fraud and money laundering operation.

The man is scheduled to appear before Sydney Central Local Court today, charged with dealing with money or property that was the proceeds of crime, being reckless that the money or property was the proceeds of crime, and the value of the money and other property was $1,000,000 or more, contrary to section 400.3(2) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.

The South Wentworthville man was issued a court attendance notice by Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigators on Thursday, 22 July 2021, as part of Operation Bordelon, a SFCT joint agency operation targeting a criminal syndicate using labour hire and payroll companies associated with the building and construction industry to defraud the Commonwealth.

See the original media release for this operation: Organised crime investigation charges 12 over complex fraud.

It will be alleged in court the man received, possessed and distributed a total of $1,373,300 that was proceeds of an illegal scheme to siphon off money that should have been remitted to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

He allegedly used two bank accounts that he controlled to facilitate this activity, on behalf of another man – who has been of long-term interest to organised crime investigators – for the benefit of that man’s relatives and close associates.

AFP Commander Investigations, Eastern Command, Kirsty Schofield said this additional charge was a result of outstanding detective work by AFP investigators, who have spent much of the past year digging further into the activities of this syndicate.

“The AFP is committed to out-working and out-smarting these organised crime groups, and part of that is targeting them at their most vulnerable, namely when they try and legitimise their illegally-obtained proceeds of crime,” she said.

“Our specialist investigators want to identify all criminality in this complex scheme, and that’s why another man will be facing the court on a very serious charge. Anyone else involved in this scheme should be worried – we are unravelling the detail of this scheme and will not hesitate to charge other people if the evidence allows us.”

ATO Deputy Commissioner and SFCT Chief Will Day said, “Serious financial criminals lie, cheat and steal from every one of us. The additional charge today shows that the SFCT does not take financial crime lightly, and collectively we’re working together to share intelligence and bring offenders to account.”

“Tax crime comes at an expense to the community, it takes away money that could be used to fund essential services. The SFCT is fighting back against these criminals, and we’re not stopping.”

The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) is an ATO-led joint-agency taskforce established on 1 July 2015. 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. As at 30 June 2021, the Taskforce has progressed cases that have resulted in:

  • Completion of 1,375 audits and reviews
  • Conviction and sentencing of 15 people
  • Raised liabilities of $1.088 billion
  • Collected $510 million

For more information on the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, visit the ATO website.

Media enquiries

AFP Media: (02) 5126 9297
ATO Media: (02) 6216 1901
ASIC Media: 1300 208 215

National Security Hotline

Read the AFP Annual Report 2020-21

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Platypus Online: Read. Discover. Enjoy.