Dragon’s Den ex­pert sen­tenced to com­mu­nity work, de­ten­tion

Taranaki Daily News - - Business - Anuja Nad­karni

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

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