Tax fraud­ster could be a liq­uida­tor


A con­victed tax fraud­ster, who claimed his wife had tried to kill her­self in a bid to keep his name sup­pressed, could be al­lowed to con­tinue to op­er­ate as a liq­uida­tor, af­ter the High Court struck out ap­pli­ca­tions from In­land Rev­enue.

Porirua ac­coun­tant Im­ran Mo­hammed Ka­mal pleaded guilty to six charges un­der the Tax Ad­min­is­tra­tion Act in 2013 for aid­ing and abet­ting his com­pany Ac­coun­tants First, af­ter fil­ing false in­come tax and GST re­turns and pro­vid­ing false in­for­ma­tion to the IRD.

He was sen­tenced to three months’ home de­ten­tion and 150 hours’ com­mu­nity ser­vice, hav­ing al­ready re­paid the $56,000 he de­frauded from the IRD.

Although Ka­mal aban­doned an at­tempt to over­turn an IRD de­ci­sion to strike his com­pany from its list of ap­proved tax agents, in Fe­bru­ary he went to the High Court to op­pose ap­pli­ca­tions by the IRD which would deem him in­el­i­gi­ble to act as a liq­uida­tor for five years.

IRD ar­gued that the tax fraud con­vic­tions meant Ka­mal was un­fit to act as a liq­uida­tor, as well as al­leg­ing he had on­go­ing undis­closed re­la­tion­ships that he should have dis­closed with three com­pa­nies he had been ap­pointed to liq­ui­date.

But in a rul­ing re­leased on May 18, As­so­ciate Judge War­wick Smith struck out two of three IRD ap­pli­ca­tions. A third, slightly dif­fer­ent claim, is to be heard sep­a­rately.

Ka­mal lost name sup­pres­sion in early 2014. It could then be re­vealed he was con­victed as part of a fic­ti­tious in­voic­ing scheme in­volv­ing for­mer IRD of­fi­cial Brent Gilchrist and as­so­ciate Scott An­der­son.

Name sup­pres­sion was due to be lifted in mid-2013, but on ap­peal Ka­mal sub­mit­ted an af­fi­davit claim­ing his wife had at­tempted sui­cide when she heard his name would soon be pub­lished, and there was a risk she would do so again un­less sup­pres­sion was con­tin­ued.

How­ever, later the Crown ques­tioned the ‘‘ac­cu­racy and au­then­tic­ity’’ of Ka­mal’s af­fi­davit and a re­port from a coun­sel­lor about the risks to Mrs Ka­mal.

In­quiries with the hos­pi­tal showed no record of the Ka­mal’s be­ing at hos­pi­tal when it was claimed.

The court found that there was ‘‘no re­li­able ev­i­dence that she has at­tempted sui­cide in the past’’ and the risks to fu­ture dis­tress could be mit­i­gated.

Ac­coun­tants First owner Im­ran Mo­hammed Ka­mal, who is ap­peal­ing the IRD’s de­ci­sion to re­voke his tax agency sta­tus.

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