The Rockhampton businessman has been sentenced to prison.
The Rockhampton businessman has been sentenced to prison.

Businessman's $50k fake refund raids revealed

A fraudulent Rockhampton business owner has been sentenced to two months jail after he tried to claim more than $50,000 in fake GST refunds.

Kevin Harker has operated and been involved with multiple accountancy businesses in Rockhampton including Harker Accounting and Taurus Accounting.

Harker Accounting went into liquidation in 2017 and Taurus Accounting went into liquidation in December 2020, owing $260,000.

In 2018, Mr Harker faced 35 fraud-related charges for allegedly falsifying business records between 2011 and 2012.

According to the Australian Taxation Office, Mr Harker lodged 22 business activity statements on behalf of entities he and his wife controlled, but none were carrying on an enterprise.

The entities were said to be for producing native bush foods for health food bars but no product was developed or sold.

It was revealed Mr Harker fabricated the BAS figures to obtain $43,834 in GST refunds.

He also tried to obtain an additional $8,798 however this was stopping by the ATO as it began an investigation.

Accounting files showed transactions to support the GST claims were bulk entered after Mr Harker found out about an audit.

And there was no evidence in the bank statements to suggest the reported expenses had been paid.

"People who rort the GST system make it unfair on other businesses who operate within the rules," the ATO said about the case.

"As Mr Harker found out, we won't tolerate this behaviour."

Mr Harker was sentenced in Brisbane District Court to two years jail and will be released after two months.

He was ordered to pay a $500 recognisance for good behaviour for the remainder of the sentence.


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