$240k tax cheat’s surprise move after winning retrial

 

A Gold Coast woman granted a retrial after she was jailed for ripping off taxpayers has now pleaded guilty to the same nine tax-related offences.

Laura Aprile was given a four-year head sentence, with a non-parole period of 18 months, in Southport District Court in February last year.

A jury found her guilty of six counts of using a forged document and three counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

The Crown case was that Aprile had ripped off taxpayers to the tune of over $240,000, by getting a GST refund she was not entitled to using false business activity statements with the Australian Taxation Office.

She gave evidence at her trial that she had not intended to deceive the ATO.

At her sentence Aprile also was ordered to pay back the money.

In October, Aprile successfully appealed against her convictions, with the Court of Appeal setting them aside and ordering a retrial, granting Aprile bail.

The Crown had conceded that there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice.

Laura Aprile leaves Brisbane District Court with barrister Bruce Mumford yesterday. Picture: Jono Searle/NCA NewsWire
Laura Aprile leaves Brisbane District Court with barrister Bruce Mumford yesterday. Picture: Jono Searle/NCA NewsWire

The trial judge had failed to direct the jury on the meaning of the word "dishonesty'' and the "Elements of Offence'' document did not include the element that documents relating to six counts were "false documents''.

While awaiting her appeal, Aprile had unsuccessfully applied for bail.

She had wanted to be freed from Numinbah prison while awaiting her appeal, and live in a rented $3 million Sovereign Islands mansion owned by Clive Palmer's wife, Anna Palmer.

Aprile was due to face a new trial on November 23.

In Brisbane District Court yesterday, Aprile pleaded guilty to six counts of using a forged document and three counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.

Judge Julie Dick delisted the trial and set the sentence for December 28, enlarging Aprile's bail.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as $240k tax cheat's surprise move after winning retrial


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