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Landmark tax fraud case sees businessman sentenced to decade behind bars

Gold Coast businessman Michael Issakidis has been sentenced to more than a decade behind bars for his involvement in the largest tax evasion case in Australian history.

Issakidis and his co-conspirator Anthony Dickson evaded tax of more than $450 million, using tax havens and complex trusts.

Deputy Commissioner of Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals at the Australian Tax Office Will Day tells Ross Greenwood more.

“At its essence, we had Issakidis and Dickson deliberately absorbing $450 million of otherwise assessable income through falsely created losses and in doing that, they were able to evade $135 million in tax,” he says.

“The significant sentence handed down brings to a conclusion a multi-year fraud investigation involving members from a number of agencies particularly the ATO and Australian Federal Police.”

Mr Day says the investigation and subsequent prosecutions “display the strength of the system”.

“If those unethical lawyers and accountants are sitting there thinking, ‘well it’s just tax crime’, this sends an absolute wake-up message to them that there are very significant criminal penalties and very significant jail time.”

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