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Tenth person charged in $165 million ATO tax fraud case


The manager of the payroll company owned by Australian Taxation Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston’s son Adam is the latest charged in relation to what police allege is one of Australia’s biggest white-collar crimes.

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Simon Paul Anquetil, manager of Adam Cranston’s payroll company Plutus, which is at the centre of an alleged $165 million tax fraud, has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Commonwealth.

Anquetil was granted bail in a Sydney court this morning.

The 33-year-old is the facing the same charge as Adam Cranston.

According to the Australian Federal Police, Anquetil, who was initially the sole director and then manager of Plutus Payroll, was arrested on when he returned from an overseas trip yesterday.

Authorities say the alleged fraud is one of the nation’s largest corporate crimes “in terms of the number of conspirators and the amount of money involved”.

Ten people have now been charged in relation to Operation Elbrus for allegedly stealing $165 million from the tax office.

Michael Cranston, 58, has been issued with a court attendance notice for allegedly abusing his position as a senior public official.

He is due to face Sydney’s Central Local Court on June 13 and faces up to five years in jail if found guilty.

His 30-year-old son Adam was granted bail yesterday after his wife and grandmother put up a $300,000 surety. He was required to surrender his passport and will have to attend Bondi police station twice a week.

The others charged include Cranston’s sister, Lauren Anne Cranston, Dev Menon, Devyn Michelle Hammond, Daniel Rostankovski, Jason Cornell Onley, Christopher James Guillan, Aaron Leo Paul and Daniel Simon Hausman.

All were bailed or are due to appear in court at a later date.

Adam Cranston is due to reappear at Downing Centre Local Court on August 29.


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