Dragon’s Den expert sentenced to community work, detention
Former Dragon’s Den panellist and property developer Paul Nigel Webb has been sentenced to nine months’ home detention and 400 hours of community service for tax evasion in the High Court at Auckland.
Webb – along with business partner David Tauber, a businessman with name suppression, Mr X, and companies Honk Barges Ltd (HBL) and Honk Marine
Ltd (HML) – were found guilty on a number of criminal charges related to tax avoidance earlier this year.
The group was accused of providing false information to the Inland Revenue Department between 2007 and
2010, in income tax returns. Webb made a fortune during the 1990s through residential property developments and with airline City Jet. But, when the airline collapsed, he declared bankruptcy in
2000. He was discharged in July 2004.
Yesterday, Webb’s lawyer said the developer fully accepted his conduct was ‘‘wrong’’ and would aim to ‘‘redeem himself in life’’.
Justice Peters said Webb was ‘‘genuinely remorseful of his actions’’ and sentenced him to nine months’ home detention and 400 hours of community service.
Tauber’s lawyer, Mike Lennard, said the accountant did not commit ‘‘blatant tax fraud’’ – rather, it was ‘‘complex tax planning’’. He said Tauber used ‘‘clever tricks’’ tax accountants used. But Justice Peters said Tauber was the ‘‘architect of the scheme’’ and sentenced him to three years and three months’ imprisonment.
Lennard indicated he would appeal the verdict.
X was sentenced to one year’s home detention and 400 hours of community service. The two companies were fined $25,000 for each of their charges. HML was fined $100,000 and HBL $125,000.
Paul Webb in 2006