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Dozens of suspicious cash transfers exposed $2 million unpaid tax bill

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AUSTRAC information initiated an investigation into a suspect who had been evading tax for a period of approximately nine years and had an unpaid tax bill totalling over AUD2 million.

Suspect transaction reports (SUSTRs) were submitted by a credit union to AUSTRAC and identified a suspect who was ‘structuring’ cash withdrawals from his personal bank accounts to avoid the AUD10,000 threshold for significant cash transaction reports (SCTRs). The suspect often made multiple structured withdrawals from each of his bank accounts on the same day.

The suspect made approximately 20 cash withdrawals just below the AUD10,000 threshold from two bank accounts within 30 days, totalling over AUD180,000. During a second 30-day period the suspect withdrew from three different bank accounts a further AUD470,000 cash, structured into amounts of between AUD9,000 and AUD9,900. During this time, a number of SUSTRs were submitted about the suspect’s activity. These were disseminated by AUSTRAC to law enforcement agencies who initiated an investigation into the matter. AUSTRAC continued to provide information and assistance throughout the investigation.

Law enforcement officers obtained a restraining order and more than AUD75,000 was restrained from the suspect’s bank account, with another AUD680,000 seized when warrants were executed on the suspect’s residence. The suspect was found guilty and sentenced to five months jail for conducting transactions to avoid reporting obligations and possessing property from the proceeds of crime.

Offence

  • Tax evasion

Customer

  • Individual

Industry

  • Banking (ADIs)

Channel

  • Physical

Report type

  • SUSTR

Jurisdiction

  • Domestic

Designated service

  • Account and deposit-taking services

Indicators

  • High number of cash withdrawals below the AUD10,000 reporting threshold
  • High volume of cash withdrawn from accounts during a short time period, in apparently structured amounts
Last modified: 30/07/2015 15:36