19 Jul 2019

Man who defrauded IRD $1m imprisoned for three years

5:35 pm on 19 July 2019

A former commercial diver who pretended his partner had died to avoid paying tax has been sent to prison for three years.

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Photo: nito500/123RF

Tony Edward Cree previously pleaded guilty to a representative fraud charge and was today sentenced in Christchurch District Court.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Tony Morris said Cree, through his company Civil and Marine Group Limited, claimed over $1 million in GST refunds he was not entitled to.

"Cree lied, repeatedly. He gave us false documents and information to try to validate the false GST returns he filed."

He claimed GST refunds between December 2009 and January 2015 when he and his company's bank accounts showed no expenses for business activity.

"At one point he claimed his partner was sick and had passed away which made it difficult for him to comply with information requests made by IR," Mr Morris said.

This turned out to be false as well.

"His premeditated and deliberate actions showed a complete disregard towards his and his company's tax obligations."