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.