Australian taxman nabs Vanuatu accountant

A Vanuatu-based accountant with links to KPMG has been arrested in Queensland
for defrauding the Australian Commonwealth of more than $A10m (?5m) and has
appeared in Maroochydore Magistrates Court.

Brian Fox has been charged with one count of conspiring to defraud the
Commonwealth, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ jail and a fine of
Aus$220,000, The Australian reports. He practised as an accountant for
30 years in Australia before moving to Vanuatu where he worked for Hawkes Law,
an independent firm with a correspondent relationship with KPMG. He

The charge against Fox is that between July 1999, and May 2001, he conspired
with five other men in an asset-stripping scheme allegedly designed to help
Australian companies avoid paying their tax bills. Two of those men have also
been charged.

Fox and his co-conspirators allegedly used an intricate network of companies
in Australia and Vanuatu to avoid detection. The AFP said 69 companies had been
linked to the scheme.

Further reading:

Vanuatu is scrapping tax haven status

EU diplomat’s wife linked to Aussie tax racket

The Australian story

Related reading