Tax scam ‘stupidest thing’ Dunedin businessman has done

 Tax scam ‘stupidest thing’ Dunedin businessman has done

Paul Lambert Clarke. Photo / ODT file

A Dunedin businessman who spent six years defrauding Customs says it was the “stupidest thing he’s ever done in his life”.

Paul Lambert Clarke appeared in the Dunedin District Court this afternoon after pleading guilty to two charges of using altered documents with intent to deceive and one of producing false documents.

While the lengthy fraud involved the defendant underpaying more than $1.3m in tax, calculations showed he would have only benefited by up to $15,000 because of GST refunds.

Counsel John Westgate said the charges had ultimately had a disastrous financial impact on Clarke’s finances.

“If he could turn the clock back, he would,” he said.

The scam gave his company, PL Clarke Ltd, “a significant cash-flow advantage over competitors”, court documents said.

Judge Kevin Phillips fined Clarke $30,000 and sentenced him to six months’ community…

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