Unemployed man jailed over $3m ‘salary’
A Western Australian man submitted a number of claims to the tax office in a bid to pocket more than $1 million but there was just one problem.
He didn't have a job to justify his massive taxable income, the WA District Court heard.
Reece Potter's ruse started small, with four annual income claims alleging his employers at a meat company had withheld amounts of tax from payments to him amounting to more than $42,000 per year.
The Australian Taxation Office paid out each but from there, the not-so-cunning plan got out of hand.
It began investigating the 28-year-old when a whopping $1,002,745 was claimed for the modest job.
The ATO discovered Potter falsified his income and tax withheld to obtain a larger refund, claiming a remarkable total salary of $3 million over four years.
Potter increased his income each time he lodged a claim unaware the tax office had already begun probing his curious activity.
"This outcome highlights that people who try to cheat the tax and super systems will get caught and we will take firm action," Assistant Commissioner Ian Read said.
"We know most people do the right thing, but this type of behaviour is blatant fraud against the Commonwealth.
"Tax crime is not victimless. Mr Potter effectively stole money from the pockets of taxpayers, money that was otherwise set to fund vital public services that the community relies upon."
Potter was sentenced to 2.5 years behind bars and ordered to pay $42,191 in reparations.
Originally published as Unemployed man jailed over $3m 'salary'