A key player: Wellington accountant named as offender in tax evasion case

Media release from Inland Revenue
Inland Revenue has welcomed the decision in the Wellington High Court on 19 December lifting a name suppression order from last Friday for Wellington accountant Imran Mohammad Kamal.

Group Tax Counsel Graham Tubb said that Kamal was a key player in the recent high profile tax evasion case involving Brent Gilchrist and Scott Anderson.

“We strongly welcome Justice Williams’s decision to lift name suppression for Kamal because it reinforces the message that those who participate and facilitate tax evasion and fraud schemes should be held publicly accountable.

“We believe that tax professionals such as advisors and agents have a duty to uphold the integrity of the tax system and the vast majority work hard to ensure that those they offer help to are operating within the rules. Unfortunately some will try and cheat the tax system as will those who choose to take that advice. The public can be confident that Inland Revenue will take action, including in some cases the removal of the right to act as a tax agent for others.”

Mr Tubb said that Kamal’s company, Accountants First Limited, received invoices from Gilchrist and Anderson for IT services that they never provided. The company paid the invoices for these claims but the money was put into an offshore account.

“For his part in this round robin tax scheme, Kamal kept almost 90 per cent for himself, while the others received the difference as a ‘fee’ for their involvement. Accountants First Limited also altered tax invoices in an attempt to hide the offending, and used the offshore bank account in a tax evasion scheme, redirecting the funds back into New Zealand through paying for work done on Mr Kamal’s house.”

As a result of his offending, Kamal was sentenced last year on five charges of providing false tax returns and one charge of providing misleading information to Inland Revenue intending to evade tax.

“By acting as he did, Kamal has abused the trust placed in him and also used his knowledge and his position to try and cheat the system, but for all that, he still failed and will bear the consequences,” Mr Tubb said.

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Kamal was sentenced to three months home detention and 150 hours community work in February last year. Last year, Gilchrist got 10 months home detention and Anderson was sentenced to 3 ½ years jail.

On his LinkedIn profile, Kamal lists having worked as a senior accountant and auditor for Deloittes and was twice nominated, and once a finalist, for the Wellington region’s chartered accountant of the year in 2003 and 2007.

His company Accountant’s First describes him as “a lateral thinker and business strategist.” His “visionary ideas are geared toward prospects for growth,” according to the firm’s website.

August 30: Anderson and Gilchrist sentenced
July 26: “Complicated and determined tax evasion”

 

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