In The News » Prosecutors lose appeal in biggest white-collar crime in Australia’s history

Prosecutors lose appeal in biggest white-collar crime in Australia’s history

In 2017, our client was one of several persons arrested for their role in the Plutus Payroll tax fraud and money laundering scheme.  Under the scheme, which is still the largest of its kind in Australian history, the offenders illegally obtained more than $105 million in tax proceeds and then dealt with the proceeds of crime. 

Hanna Legal represented the alleged founder of Plutus Payroll, who laundered more than $28 million himself and personally benefited more than $12.2 million. 

Hanna Legal engaged in extensive negotiations with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), which led to our client pleading guilty to a single count of dealing with proceeds of crime (more than $1 million), contrary to section 400.3(1) of the Criminal Code and a count of conspiracy to dishonestly causing a loss to a Commonwealth entity, contrary to section 135.4(3) of the Criminal Code

We instructed Philip Strickland SC and Peter Lange at our client’s sentence hearing in 2020 and prepared comprehensive evidence that was tendered on his behalf.  

In a remarkable result, our client was sentenced to a non-parole period of five years, with a parole period of two and a half years. 

The CDPP appealed against the sentence, arguing that the sentence was “manifestly inadequate” given the seriousness of the offending.  

Hanna Legal successfully represented our client at the appeal proceedings at the Court of Criminal Appeal, which was heard in November 2020.  

On 9 April 2021, the Court of Criminal Appeal handed down its decision, dismissing the appeal in a unanimous decision.

For more information, see: Prosecutors lose fight over tax fraudster’s ‘inadequate’ jail time, Australian Financial Review, 9 April 2021.

Photograph obtained from