An accountant who narrowly dodged prison after helping a former reality TV star and his associate avoid paying tax has had his identity permanently hidden from the New Zealand public and business community.

The Herald is also not allowed to report a High Court judge's reasons for the suppression and the evidence submitted for the accountant to remain nameless.

Known only as Mr X, the man was sentenced to 12 months' home detention and 400 hours' community work in October by Justice Mary Peters.

He had been convicted of helping Paul Webb, a former dragon on the entrepreneurial reality TV show Dragons' Den, and ex-Ernst & Young partner David Tauber provide false information to IRD for the income tax returns of their companies Honk Barges Ltd (HBL) and Honk Marine Ltd (HML).

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Mr X has enjoyed name suppression since late 2016 and Justice Peters extended the order until the end of November, before he made an application for permanent name suppression this month.

Today, the judge released her ruling.

"Much of the public interest in the proceedings has been satisfied. The trial has been reported, and the sentencing received substantial coverage," Justice Peters said in her decision.

"This reporting would confirm to anyone interested that the IRD will pursue criminal proceedings if it sees fit and that the court will impose significant sentences if the circumstances warrant."

Justice Peters continued: "There is no particular need to alert prospective employers or other business interests to this offending.

"X is, and has been for many years, employed by Y Limited, which is fully informed of his offending, and has the utmost faith in him."

The names of Y's deceased trading partner and the principal trading entity are also permanently suppressed.

The Crown opposed the order, but its argument was suppressed by Justice Peters.

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Paul Webb aided the group in providing false information to the Inland Revenue Department. Photo / Michael Craig
Paul Webb aided the group in providing false information to the Inland Revenue Department. Photo / Michael Craig

At sentencing, Mr X's lawyer, Christopher Gudsell QC, argued his client was "not involved in any instrumentation or formulation of this scheme at all".

Justice Peters said she thought "long and hard" about whether to send him to prison.

Tauber, the architect of the scheme, was sentenced to three years and three months' imprisonment.

Tauber's lawyer Mike Lennard - who also represented HBL and HML - maintained his client's crimes were just clever accounting tricks.

"This was not blatant tax fraud, it was complex tax planning that has crossed the line in your honour's verdicts," Lennard said.

HBL was fined $125,000 and HML fined $100,000.

David Tauber was a former tax partner at Ernst & Young. Photo / Michael Craig
David Tauber was a former tax partner at Ernst & Young. Photo / Michael Craig

Webb was sentenced to nine months' home detention and 400 hours' community work.

After a judge-alone trial before Justice Peters In May, Webb was found guilty of three of nine charges, Mr X guilty of six of nine charges, and Tauber guilty of all nine charges he faced.

HML was found guilty of four charges, and HBL of five.

Tauber, Webb, HBL and HML are all appealing their convictions.

Webb is also appealing his sentence.

The Court of Appeal will hear their arguments in March.