On 14 November 2017, 61-year-old Voli Della Bosca was sentenced in the Cairns District Court to two years’ imprisonment after he was found guilty by a jury of dishonestly causing a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth.
Between the 2009 to 2013 financial years, the Queensland businessman under-reported tax withheld from his employees to a total value of $173,819 to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for a number of businesses he operated in Mareeba and Cairns.
Through Business Activity Statements and end-of-year financial reports, Mr Della Bosca declared that he had deducted $84,158 in Pay As You Go (PAYG) tax from his employees’ wages, including in wages paid to himself and members of his family.
However, his employee’s tax returns for the period showed that $257,977 had been withheld from wages.
Through his legal representatives, Mr Della Bosca claimed he was trying to keep his companies afloat and that he had a cash flow problem which meant he was unable to meet his obligations to the ATO. However, he continued trading throughout the period and expanded the businesses.
Before the jury, the Crown successfully argued that Mr Della Bosca deliberately adopted a course of dishonest conduct for the entire period—reinforced by the scale, the persistence and the amount of the fraud.
In sentencing, Judge Clare SC remarked that she considered this a serious example of this kind of offending, given the amount of the fraud and the extended period of the course of conduct. Her Honour said “Conduct like this requires a lengthy investigation and ... tends to undermine confidence in the integrity of a fair taxation system.”
On 14 November 2017, Voli Della Bosca was found guilty and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, to be released after serving four months on a $2000 three-year good behaviour bond, in relation to:
- 1 count of dishonestly causing a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth contrary to section 135.1(5) of the Criminal Code (Cth).