Serial fraudster takes $190k from ATO

 

A GOLD Coast bookkeeper defrauded more than $192,000 from the tax office by lodging fake claims from her clients.

Alana Hodge was sentenced to three years in prison in the Brisbane District Court on Monday after pleading guilty to fraud between 2015 and 2017.

Hodge has previously spent time in prison for stealing more than $100,000 from Custom Canopies and North Gold Coast Electrical.

On Monday, the court was told Hodge had been employed by seven businesses to manage their tax affairs.

She logged on the companies' ATO business portfolio 47 times and lodged fake returns.

The 32-year-old has been ordered to pay back $158,000.

Hodge did try to take another $65,000 in GST refunds but the ATO had already received a tip off from a client and was already investigating.

Outside court, ATO Assistant Commissioner Adam Kendrick said: "The ATO knows that the majority of registered agents do the right thing, but unfortunately there are some agents who take advantage of their clients for financial benefit.

"We want to assure the community we take these matters seriously and work closely with the Taxation Practitioners Board to combat dishonest behaviour."

Hodge was deregistered as a tax agent in October 2018 and has been banned for the maximum term of five years.

Originally published as Serial fraudster takes $190k from ATO


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