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Tuesday 20

November, 201811:22 AM



Watchdog seeks ATO anti-fraud action

Watchdog seeks ATO anti-fraud action

A new report proposes improvements to the way the tax office handles internal fraud following a multimillion-dollar scandal.

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By AAP 22.10.2018 12:31 PM

Fraud controls within the Australian Taxation Office must be toughened to avoid cases similar to the Plutus Payroll scandal, a review has found.

Ten people are before the courts for their alleged involvement in stealing an estimated $130 million from the ATO following an investigation by Operation Elbrus that began in September 2016.

Those caught up in the alleged scheme, which involved a syndicate of companies, straw directors and bank accounts, included former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston.

Mr Cranston is due to go to trial in January.

A review by the inspector-general of taxation found no evidence of systemic corruption or fraud.

But the watchdog made 13 recommendations including periodic reviews of corporate integrity indicators, better staff recruitment processes and mandatory fraud awareness training.

As well, the ATO should conduct periodic quality reviews of internal fraud investigations and the appropriateness of associated disciplinary actions.

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