A woman has been ordered to pay $18.4 million to Inland Revenue.

The High Court at Nelson recently released a summary judgment against Dior Jay Sabatini, formerly known as Denise Anne Clark, with Associate Judge John Matthews finding that Sabatini did not have a defence to the case against her, rendering a trial futile.

Sabatini had asked the court to exercise its discretion against entering a summary judgment because of the injustice of being held to account when "she only had a junior administrative role with the organisation which ran and promoted the scheme", the decision said.

The judge did not agree.


"This is not in my opinion a course which the court should follow. It overlooks, with respect, that if a summary judgement is not issued, the underlying case would continue to trial, and Ms Sabatini does not have a defence to the substantive case which could give her any prospect of a successful outcome at trial."

According to a 2011 judgment, Inland Revenue had accused Sabatini and an associate of promoting a tax avoidance arrangement.

According to the latest decision, Sabatini had described the conduct of Inland Revenue as "disgraceful" and as "unacceptable and repugnant intrusions into the judicial function".

She said that the assessment of the amount she owed was issued in bad faith and claimed that the figures were "merely plucked out of the air".

She said that she did have proceedings in the High Court to challenge the assessments, but these were abandoned because she could not afford to continue.

According to the decision, Sabatini's debt is comprised of $11.7m in late payment penalties and interest, a promoter penalty of $6.3m, interest of $255,000, and a further $110,000 unpaid income tax.