Four People Imprisoned Over Commonwealth Fraud Charges

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29th August 2009, 09:23am - Views: 1296

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29 August 2009

Four people imprisoned over Commonwealth fraud charges

Four people who pleaded guilty to charges relating to defrauding the Commonwealth

have been sentenced to imprisonment in the Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday.

Mr Sen Hung CHEN, 64, and his wife Chiu Yuan HSIAO, 59, both Taiwanese

nationals residing at Aspley, were found guilty of conspiracy to cause loss to the

Commonwealth. For this offence Mr Chen was sentenced to six years imprisonment

while Ms Hsiao received a sentence of five years and three months.

The couple also pleaded guilty to two counts of dealing with the proceeds of crime

worth one million dollars or more. For this offence Mr Chen is to serve 10 years and

six months with a non-parole period of seven years. Ms Hsiao was sentenced to

seven years and six months with a non-parole period of three years.

Both Mr Chen and Ms Hsiao are to serve their sentences concurrently.

Previously, the couple was also ordered to pay $8.28 million by 26 November 2009,

as a result of investigations into their assets, which were proven to have been

obtained through the proceeds of crime.

Mr Thanh Hieu TRUONG, 51 of Sunnybank Hills, and Mr Hi NGO, 51 of Fortitude

Valley were also found guilty of conspiracy to cause loss to the Commonwealth.   

They were both sentenced to four years and six months gaol, with a non-parole period

of three years.

The four people sentenced yesterday were the last of a group of 11 people to be

prosecuted in relation to a duty evasion scam that had been investigated over nearly

six years by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, the Australian

Taxation Office and the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The scheme, which operated between 2001 and 2004, involved the diversion of large

quantities of duty free tobacco products through two Brisbane duty free shops onto the

home market. 

Sales records were falsified to show that ships crew were purchasing the products

when in fact they were being sold throughout south-east Queensland using a network

of retail outlets organised by the syndicate. 

During the course of the investigation assets and cash to the value of more than $15

million dollars were restrained and the Customs and excise duty evaded was

calculated at being in the order of $13 million dollars.

AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner Justine Saunders said this excellent result has

been the culmination of more than five years of dedication and commitment by the

multi agency team and is a reflection of what can be achieved when agencies work


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Customs and Border Protection National Manager Investigations, Richard Janeczko,

said it was pleasing that the long running case had finally reached a conclusion and

today’s gaol sentences demonstrated that those who sought to gain an advantage by

fraudulent means would be brought to justice.

Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo said fraud that involves selling non-duty paid

products into the domestic market damages the viability of legitimate businesses. 

“We take fraud seriously and focus considerable resources on detecting and acting

against businesses doing the wrong thing," Mr D’Azcenzo said.

Media enquiries:

Customs and Border Protection Communication and Media 

(02) 6275 6793

ATO Media Liaison

(02) 6216 1901

AFP National Media 

(02) 6275 7100

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