Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Project Wickenby

Project Wickenby

The new Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, which began operating on 1 July 2015, will build on the success of Project Wickenby.

Project Wickenby commenced in February 2006, a Commonwealth cross agency taskforce was set up to combat international tax evasion, which posed a serious threat to the integrity of Australia’s tax and regulatory systems.

When it finished on 30 June 2015, it was the largest tax evasion investigation ever run in Australia’s history. It netted $2.29 billion in tax liabilities and recouped $985.67 million in outstanding revenue. A total of 46 individuals were convicted.

Project Wickenby enhanced the strategies and capabilities of Australian and international agencies to collectively detect, deter and deal with international tax avoidance and evasion.

It was also designed to improve community confidence in Australian regulatory systems by showing steps are taken to address serious non-compliance with tax laws, and to reform administrative practice, policy and legislation.

By prosecuting offences that arose from the taskforce’s investigations, we played a vital role in the project.

You can learn more ab out Project Wickenby on ATO’s website.

Key legislation

Main offences

  • s.134.2 Criminal Code—dishonestly obtaining a financial benefit by deception
  • s.135.1(5) Criminal Code—dishonestly causing a loss or a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth
  • s.135.4(3) Criminal Code—conspiracy to cause a loss or a risk of a loss to the Commonwealth
  • ss.400.3–400.6 Criminal Code—money laundering offences.

Penalties

The maximum penalties for these offences are:

  • 10 years’ imprisonment for s.134.2 Criminal Code
  • 5 years’ imprisonment for s.135.1(5) Criminal Code
  • 10 years’ imprisonment for s.135.4(3) Criminal Code
  • 2–25 years’ imprisonment for ss.400.3-400.6 Criminal Code.

Partner agencies

Significant Cases

  • R v Glyn Morgan Jones; R v Anthony Joseph Hili [2010] NSW CCA 108
  • R v Anthony Joseph Hili; R v Glyn Morgan Jones [2010] HCA 45
  • Milne v R [2011] NSWCCA 24
  • R v Boughen; R v Cameron [2012] NSWCCA 17
  • R v Agius; R v Zerafa [2012] NSWSC 978
  • Agius v the Queen [2013] HCA 27
  • R v Lynette Liles [2012] NSWSC 1249
  • R v Paul John Gregory [2011] VSCA 145
  • R v Hargraves; R v Stoten [2010] QCA 328
  • R v Tatsuo Jo [2012] QCA 356
  • R v Steven Hawkins [2013] NSWCCA 208
  • R v Zerafa [2013] NSWCCA 222
  • Isbester v R [2013] NSWCCA 230
  • R v de Figueiredo [2013] QCA303