A Hawkes Bay businessman has been sentenced to six months home detention after admitting using his employees' bank accounts to evade paying tax.
Ahmet Dindar avoided a $196,000 tax bill through an evasion and money laundering scheme carried out through his chain of kebab shops in the region.
He was sentenced in the Napier District Court today to six months home detention and 200 hours community service after earlier pleading guilty to four representative charges - one each for evading income tax, evading GST, filing false income tax returns and engaging in money laundering.
Through his companies, Anatolia Napier Limited and Cafe Anatolia Limited, Dindar suppressed just over $500,000 in sales between 2009 and 2012. He has since repaid the tax owed to Inland Revenue.
The IRD today welcomed the sentence, saying a tip-off from the public in November 2012 had alerted it to the fraud.
"He admitted that he took cash sales from his shop tills which he deposited into the bank accounts of his staff or his own personal account," group manager investigations and advice, Patrick Goggin, said.
"The outcome was that this money did not show up on the bank statements for himself or the companies and therefore the tax returns that were filed with Inland Revenue were false.
"Not only did he hide money in other people's bank accounts, but in some instances it was sent to Turkey and used for his personal expenses, and this was why he was also charged with money laundering."
Mr Goggin said this was a deliberate attempt to reduce the amount of tax both Dindar and his businesses would have to pay.
"This case also shows that Inland Revenue acts on information that it receives and there is an expectation amongst New Zealanders that those who break the rules will be caught," Mr Goggin said.