1493597588949 - Tax agent fraudster loses name suppression

Tax agent fraudster loses name suppression

A tax agent convicted after swindling the taxman out of more than $750,000 has lost a bid to keep her identity secret.

Tax agent Leigh Anne Sammons ran a tax agency in Wellington’s CBD.

Justice Collins dismissed an appeal from Sammons, in which she argued publication of her name would cause “extreme hardship.”

Sammons said losing name suppression would severely impact her own health, and the well-being of her family.

READ MORE:
* Tax agent rorted IRD out of over $750,000
* Napier accountant accused of evading tax
* Former lawyer gets home detention on tax fraud

At the High Court in Wellington, Justice David Collins said unfortunately, the relatives of defendants often faced negative impacts due to parents’ offending.

He said publication of a defendant’s name was normal, especially where someone had pleaded guilty to serious offending, as Sammons had.

“I am satisfied that the high threshold for granting name suppression has not been passed.”

Earlier, Sammons pleaded guilty to 18 charges of making false or misleading information on returns to evade payment and evading payment on 138 GST and income returns.

The value of those returns was $768,538.

The courts heard the benefit to Sammons was $210,465 while her client companies benefited from the rest.

Sammons practiced through a company called Total Tax Ltd.

During an Inland Revenue audit of her business between 2009 and 2014 she admitted miscodings in the returns were deliberate.

Income was under-reported and expenses over-reported for several business clients.

Three of the companies she worked with faced prosecution by the IRD.

A District Court judge earlier said Sammons’ own financial position was hopeless and there was no way she could pay reparation.

Sammons was sentenced in March to 10 months’ home detention and 120 hours’ community work.

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