The Herald Reports:
Tax agent pleads guilty to keeping client money
A former tax agent who didn’t pay his clients’ tax to the Inland Revenue Department and falsified 250 GST and income tax returns in order to keep client money has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.
In the Manukau District Court last Friday, Michael McDonald pleaded guilty to four charges of theft by a person in a special relationship, 13 charges of dishonestly using a document, and one charge of false accounting, the Serious Fraud Office, which prosecuted the case, said in a statement.
McDonald became a registered tax agent in 2002. Between 2007 and 2013, he took money from clients to pay their taxes but kept it himself, filed 250 false GST and income tax returns either to get money from Inland Revenue or to keep client funds he wasn’t entitled to, and made false entries in one client’s financial statements in an attempt to hide his theft.
I’m actually quite surprised by this. Michael Robert McDonald (calls himself Mike McDonald, formerly of McDonald & Co. Accountants) has pleaded guilty.
This wanker has ducked and dived the whole time since it became clear he was pinching people’s money.
While I went through the bankruptcy process, he delayed things a lot, told anyone who would listen that I was the bad guy (even making allegations that I followed his wife in my car, harassed his family and so on. All of which is complete nonsense.)
And now we see he has admitted to being a thief and a liar. Of over $700,000 from the IRD (i.e. NZ taxpayer), his clients, me and a bunch of other people.
A bit of background around this: The way the system seems to work is that the Justice Dept and others seek to avoid having a trial whenever they can. I can only assume this is because of the cost, time and hassle (and lack of resources) to do so.
So they give the defendant an indication of what kind of sentence they might receive if they plead guilty. Hoping that if they plead guilty, they’ll avoid the necessity for a trial.
And I guess to get this deal accepted, they offer a pretty cushy sentence. With the threat that if they go to trial and the crown wins, then you get a harsher sentence.
So I’m imagining that his sentence will be quite light, but you never know.
Sentencing is set down for 21st October 2016.