IRD bribery & fraud scandal: A Special Investigation, Ctd

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by Stephen Cook

INLAND REVENUE is officially investigating the actions of those implicated in a messy bribery scandal currently threatening the integrity of the New Zealand taxation system.

Top-level discussions were held in Auckland yesterday between senior IRD investigators and a number of complainants over the alleged criminal conduct of those involved in what appears to be an elaborate plot to defraud taxpayers out of millions of dollars.

But more importantly, at stake is the integrity of the taxation system and the right of all taxpayers to have their liability determined ?fairly, impartially and according to law?.

If IRD were to ignore the allegations, it could open itself up to potentially billions of dollars worth of claims from aggrieved taxpayers wanting the same preferential treatment enjoyed by the company at the centre of the latest scandal.

The company had tax liabilities of close to $300,000 but successfully negotiated a final settlement of $30,000.?

The business?owner?was told that for the sum of $30,000 the company?s tax bill could be significantly reduced by bribing ?liquidators and friends in the police and IRD.

The businessman handed over $27,000 in cash to the "lawyer"

The business?owner?handed over $27,000 in cash?in a carpark

The business?owner?agreed to the deal, meeting in a car park where the sum of $27,000 in $100 bills was handed over.

Shortly after handing over the cash the business owner began to have second thoughts. He was unfamiliar with the liquidation process so spoke to friends who warned him ?it?s going to be a f****** nightmare?. The liquidators would be relentless, he was told, in fulfilling their obligations to the creditors and wouldn?t let up until they knew where every dollar from the sale of the business went.

Or so the business owner was led to believe.

He claims when he met the liquidator, who works for a leading Auckland firm of accountants not one question was asked.

The business owner assumed the deal was honoured?and the liquidator had been “paid off”.

The IRD investigation is expected to focus on the actions of the liquidator, who charged the princely sum of $45,000 to wind up the company at the centre of this controversy. Normally a liquidation of this scale would cost $5000.

Investigators ? who have the power to lay charges not just under the Tax Administration Act but also the Crimes Act ? are also expected to be chasing?other parties involved in the deal.

One of those men was responsible for overseeing the winding up of the company in question and is believed to have either taken part or at least been aware of the conspiracy to defraud the taxman and the previous business owner.

The story continues…

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