Insolvency referrer charged in ATO fraud bust

Fraud bust likely to flush out more accused.As the net tightens on the accused fraudsters, how many more will be flushed out?
referrer charged over tax fraud

Jay Onley: well known referrer charged with involvement in a $165 million PAYG fraud.

There’s going to be some boot quaking in insolvency town following yesterday’s spectacular ATO fraud bust.

One of those those hauled before court as an alleged party to the grand conspiracy is none other than JasonJay’ Onley, the one-time Winter Olympian who cut his insolvency teeth at Fox Syme’s 180 Corporate before heading out to make his way as an advisor and referrer.

Onley’s connection to the alleged $165 million fraud comes through his being one of three directors of SYNEP Ltd, the shareholder of Plutus Payroll Australia.

Police allege Plutus is a legitimate payroll processor beneath which sit seven labour hire firms boasting dummy directors controlled by those accused of masterminding the brazen caper.

If the ATO and Australian Federal Police investigators have their sums right, the syndicate of which Onley is alleged to belong skimmed $165 million whilst remitting a portion of PAYG collected to the ATO in a bid to minimise their risk of detection.

What hasn’t been revealed is over what period the deception is alleged to have occurred.

Onley and his alleged co-conspirators were granted bail yesterday but insolvency professionals who regularly accepted work from the 47 year old Vaucluse resident will be wondering if their name is on a list and a visit from the authorities imminent.

Among those most pre-occupied by such thoughts would be those registered liquidators who sit on the panel of Onley’s business and turnaround advisory, Northstar.

“We have a number of Liquidators/Administrators on our panel who we work with regularly,” the Northstar website claims.

Somewhat ironically, Northstar also professes to possessing a special expertise in dealing with the ATO. “Northstar is in regular contact with the ATO on our clients’ behalf.

“We are experts when it comes to ATO negotiations, and have successfully come to agreement on numerous payment plans,” the website states.

If that’s true then every one of those repayment plans will need to be reviewed. Looks like more overtime coming up for the ATO’s audit teams.

But back to the liquidators who might have accepted appointments from Onley or others connected to the syndicate.

SiN has it on good authority that a director of one of the seven labour hire firms  – PP Aus Holdings – approached Jirsch Sutherland – with his mother – seeking a liquidation but when Jirsch staff made enquiries with 22 year old director Alex Nappa  Jirsch then declined the appointment.

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Insolvency News Online illuminates the practice of insolvency Australia-wide, highlighting the triumphs and travails of the nation’s registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. INO is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white-collar crime.

2 Comments on "Insolvency referrer charged in ATO fraud bust"

  1. Joshua Charteris | 22 May 2017 at 1:26 am | Reply

    Solid article. Thanks. I\’d like to think that good investigative journalism still has a pulse in Australia to counterbalance the abundance of fake news posing as real. I\’d love someone to go all the way on this particular matter because of the not insignificant tax fraud allegations and the individuals reportedly involved. The news I have seen so far is well focused on the senior ATO figure and father of one of the central offender to the alleged fraud racket.The senior ATO member has been prominently announced have been asked to step down (or such like). The quantum of the fraud claim is approx. $165m and the senior ATO man\’s son central to all the hype, it was disappointing to then hear the MSM reports quick off the mark to qualify that the senior ATO head in question was not a suspect. Really ?? Does that sound just little contradictory and/or premature to conclude such a finding ?? There\’s more to this of course, but the public needs to have confidence that a broom will go through the ATO and clean the mess from this monumental fraud. It was also interesting to learn details of another major point to the case despite the scant attention paid to same by the media. Nevertheless, I understand that the scale of the potential corruption at the ATO has the potential to negatively influence the strength of the ATO\’s position on many significant unpaid tax cases currently underway. Maybe crucial evidence being used in any other significant legal actions could be tainted. High end recovery operations like wickinby etc show the ATO to be always frying a few big fish. The stakes are high given the potential consequences for some of the accused in these cases (ie. large fines with jail time) and one can also consider that the influence any pending/current trials greater than the average citizen. So with the above in mind I reckon it would be fantastic to learn of an ethical investigative journalist with the resources to go all the way. Someone that could consider ALL the possible angles including the possibility that the above stated MSM back story is just a distraction ie. a red herring. IMO, there appears to be several dubious aspects to the MSM story to date.

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