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2 years jail for 'audacious' $1.5 million tax refund fraud

Images: Getty, AAP

A South Australian man has been sentenced to more than two years' prison for trying to fraudulently grab almost $1.5 million in refunds.

The Adelaide District Court heard that Adam Hamshere created a fake cigar sales business then attempted to claim tax refunds of $1,444,069.

The massive claim set off alarm bells at the Australian Taxation Office, which immediately started an audit.

The ongoing investigation didn't deter Hamshere's "brazen behaviour", according to the ATO.

"He subsequently rang the ATO almost a dozen times asking for his refund, and during the audit claimed his paper and electronic records had been stolen."

The ATO eventually found that no evidence of business activity or any indications backing up Hamshere's claim that his records were all stolen.

ATO acting assistant commissioner David Mendoza said it was an "audacious" attempt to steal from the public and that the jail sentence of two years and four months was appropriate.

"We will not tolerate this type of behaviour. The tax and superannuation systems are valuable community assets owned by all Australians and we all have a role in protecting them."

Hamshere had been charged with six counts relating to dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage from the Commonwealth.

The 39-year-old had used prior accounting knowledge to setup the fake business, including applying for an Australian Business Number and registering for GST and Wine Equalisation Tax.

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