New Zealand Law Society - Accountants found guilty of fraud and tax evasion

Accountants found guilty of fraud and tax evasion

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Two accountants have appeared in courts to answer charges relating to fraud and tax evasion.

The Serious Fraud Office says former chartered accountant Christopher George Wright, 62, has pleaded guilty to one representative charge of Theft by a person in special relationship.

The charge was brought by the SFO in the Auckland District Court.

It says Mr Wright stole approximately $1.01 million from his clients.

"The tax refunds intended for Mr Wright’s clients were deposited in his accounting practice’s trust account, which was under his control," the SFO says.

It says he spent the refunds on gambling, friends and family, school fees and loan repayments. "He defrauded about 245 clients over a six-year period from January 2010 to April 2016".

Mr Wright has been remanded on bail to reappear for sentencing at the Auckland District Court on 6 May 2019.

The Inland Revenue Department says Papakura accountant Glenn William Archibald, 72, was sentenced to 12 months' home detention and 200 hours of community work in Papakura District Court on 8 March.

It says Mr Archibald was sentenced on 11 charges, having evaded $1.04 million in income tax and fraudulently claiming $85,664 in GST refunds. He paid $650,000 towards reparation before sentencing.

Archibald was the director of Electronic Tax Office Ltd, which trades as Archibald & Associates, and Papakura Promotions Ltd – the entity he used to claim the false GST refunds.

IRD says the evasion was uncovered by an Inland Revenue audit investigation. It says Mr Archibald was repeatedly given the opportunity to file the outstanding returns but failed to do so.