Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

John Wayne MASSEY

Year: 
2014-2015
Category: 
Fraud
Location: 
Queensland

When aged 62, bankrupt and on a disability pension, John Wayne Massey lodged 25 Business Activity Statements (BAS) with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) over a period of 6 months between July 2009 and February 2010 in the names of 7 companies. A total of $141,048.22 in refunds was received and attempts were made to obtain $257,655.45.

The 25 statements covered a 12 month period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009 for the 7 companies.

Massey offered to pay various people $500 per month to be the directors of the 7 companies (which payment they never received). Two of the people who were appointed as directors were appointed without their knowledge. Massey represented to the directors that he was funding developments from a superannuation fund which never existed.

Massey had sole control of the 7 companies, which never traded. While he had dreams of being a property developer, those dreams never came to fruition. He used two different tax agents to lodge the BAS on behalf of the companies.

When the first registered tax agent raised queries with Massey about the validity of the tax invoices he was supplying, he moved on to use another registered tax agent. Massey supplied 85 false invoices to his tax agent to support the legitimacy of the BAS and gave all instructions to the registered tax agents about how to disburse the refunds. When he was asked to attend a meeting with ATO auditors, Massey attempted to persuade them that the businesses were legitimate.

Charges

John Wayne Massey was sentenced on 12 March 2015 in relation to:

  • 14 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception from the Commonwealth contrary to section 134.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth)
  • 11 counts of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception from the Commonwealth contrary to section 11.1(1) and 134.2(1) of the Criminal Code (Cth).

Sentence

John Wayne Massey was sentenced to:

  • 3 and a half years imprisonment in relation to the counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
  • 2 years imprisonment in relation to the counts of attempting to obtain a financial advantage by deception.

The maximum penalty for this offence is 10 years imprisonment.

It was ordered that Massey be released on recognizance after serving 14 months of that sentence, on condition that he be of good behaviour for a period of 4 years.

Appeal

On 9 April 2015 John Wayne Massey made application to the Queensland Court of Appeal for leave to appeal against his sentence contending it was manifestly excessive. On 4 December 2015, the Court of Appeal refused the application for leave to appeal against sentence.