A Bay company director found guilty of $1.45 million worth of tax evasion offences has been jailed for four years, nine months.
Ewan Malcolm Campbell, who appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday, was found guilty of 59 charges of evading or attempting to evade the assessment or payment of taxes in December by Judge John McDonald, after a two-day trial.
Campbell's offending spanned six years and related to GST, company income tax, PAYE and personal income taxes.
In March 2007, Campbell and his wife incorporated a company called Cambrian Fresh Limited which operated an organic butchery and produce shop in Tauranga employing up to seven staff.
The company filed GST returns up to November 2010, but no income tax or PAYE returns were ever filed. Since that time Campbell became largely non-compliant with his taxes.
In 1991 the couple incorporated Cambrian Farming (NZ) Limited, but only paid GST until 2010, and never filed an income tax return.
Eleven of the GST offences related to his and his wife's partnership - E & J Campbell
Campbell's failure to comply with some of his tax obligations began in 2007, after Campbell was convicted of 16 breaches of the Fair Trading Act.
He and his company Probitas Limited were fined $272,500 in June 2007 for making false and deceptive claims about a soil enhancer.
Inland Revenue began an audit of all three entities in April 2013
Campbell refused to meet IRD investigators or supply any financial records.
Throughout the IRD investigation, Campbell claimed he was a beneficiary and shareholder of Nga Uri Whakatipurunga O Ngarae Incorporated, a known anti-tax movement.
Inland Revenue has estimated Campbell evaded $1,450,145 in taxes, Judge McDonald said.
Inland Revenue's lawyer Peter Broczek said Campbell had deliberately and blatantly evaded paying taxes and his offending had been a significant breach of trust.
"This is not a victimless crime ... In terms of sentence a clear message needs to be sent to Mr Campbell and others that this type of behaviour is criminal and has serious consequences."
As Campbell entered the dock, his supporters in the packed public gallery stood up after one man called out: "All stand for the Governor."
A defiant Campbell, who was self-represented, told Judge McDonald he did not recognise his authority, nor accept his findings.
"I sit in court knowing the tax laws in New Zealand don't apply to me ... At present I have nothing [which] says I have been convicted of any crime. I don't accept anything contended by this court, only a dismissal," he said.
Judge McDonald said: "While you may have convinced yourself Mr Campbell that you're above our tax laws, I found all the charges proven for the reasons I outlined in my judgment."
Judge McDonald said Campbell had a prior conviction in 2013 for failing to provide information to the IRD Commissioner.
"It appears following the Commerce Commerce conviction your attitude clearly changed, and you decided not to comply with the tax laws, and continue to refuse to move from that stance."
Judge McDonald said it was not usual practice to sentence an offender without a pre-sentence report but Campbell refused to co-operate and had to be arrested after he failed to turn up to court on January 29 for sentencing.
Breakdown of charges:
* 11 - evading and attempting to evade the assessment or payment of PAYE
* 18 - evading and attempting to evade the assessment or payment of income tax
* 30 - evading or attempting to evade the assessment or payment of GST