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Australia Software magnate Anthony Castagna jailed for $2.6 million tax fraud

11:40  10 august  2018
11:40  10 august  2018 Source:   smh.com.au

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Anthony Castagna was a man of integrity and generosity to his friends. Not so when it came to the tax office. Castagna , the driving force behind the 0 million cyber security company Nuix, “used his undoubted talents and considerable energy to increase his own wealth and the wealth of those with

Anthony Castagna leaves court after being found guilty of money laundering and tax evasion. Police were listening in on Agius’ phone, as he was investigated for a separate tax fraud . Robert Agius was arrested in April 2008 and subsequently jailed for tax offences.

Anthony Castagna leaves court after being found guilty of money laundering and tax evasion.© Janie Barrett Anthony Castagna leaves court after being found guilty of money laundering and tax evasion. Anthony Dante Castagna, the professor, venture capitalist and ex-Macquarie Bank director, regarded himself as a member of a “financial elite” who felt free to steal tax revenue from other Australians, said the judge who jailed him for a minimum of four years for tax evasion on Friday.

In jailing Castagna, Justice Christine Adamson said it was necessary to deter “those who might regard the ATO as “fair game” and those who used “obfuscation and deceit” to avoid their tax obligations.

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Castagna, the driving force behind the $500 million cyber security company Nuix, “used his undoubted talents and considerable energy to increase his own wealth and the wealth of those with whom he was associated,” the NSW Supreme Court judge said.

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Anthony Castagna was a man of integrity and generosity to his friends. Not so when it came to the tax office.In jailing Castagna , Justice Christine He also scammed million out of Westpac, Bank of Queensland, La Trobe Financial Services, Rhino Money and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services using

Anthony Castagna leaves court after being found guilty of money laundering and tax evasion. Seeing an opportunity, Castagna conspired with his accountant cousin Robert Agius to have the After Macquarie, Castagna went on to build the security software and data giant Nuix, whose

One of the ways he increased his wealth was by using sophisticated tax avoidance schemes run by his accountant cousin Robert Agius, 68.

Castagna, 71, hid income including million-dollar bonuses through false tax returns from 1998 to 2008, depriving the Commonwealth of $2.6 million.

He arranged for payments from Macquarie Bank to be sent via a New Zealand bank account to a firm in Vanuatu controlled by Agius.

The pair then conspired to have some of the money sent back to Castagna through the repayment of fake loans.

Australian Federal Police officers, already investigating Agius over another tax fraud for which he was jailed, intercepted telephone conversations with Castagna talking guardedly about the plot.

In sentencing the cousins over their “elaborate charade”, Justice Adamson said they had displayed no contrition.

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Jailed last week for a minimum of four years for tax evasion, Anthony Dante Castagna , the venture capitalist, cyber security company founder Castagna , the founder of the 0 million cybersecurity company Nuix, “used his undoubted talents and considerable energy to increase his own wealth and

Australian businessman Anthony Dante Castagna has received a seven-year jail sentence for concealing millions of dollars of income through false tax Agius, who has already been jailed for various tax frauds , was given a further seven-year prison sentence for his role in the Castagna affair.

Robert Agius was arrested at Sydney Airport in 2008.© Peter Morris Robert Agius was arrested at Sydney Airport in 2008. “Although Dr Castagna was honest in his dealings with others in the business community and within his family, he was prepared to steal from the Australian community at large,” Justice Adamson found.

“He had one standard of behaviour for those he knew and those who could benefit him and another for the faceless Consolidated Revenue Fund, which he was prepared to deprive of its due, to the detriment of the whole community.”

Apart from facing the confiscation of a string of properties, including his Gordon house, under proceeds of crime legislation, Castagna is also being pursued for unpaid taxes and penalties in excess of $8 million.

The judge observed that there was no evidence to suggest that these amounts would have caused “any financial hardship to Dr Castagna or his family".

As of March 2018, Nuix, which is majority-owned by Macquarie Bank, had a market value of half a billion dollars. Castagna, who helped build up the company, is understood to have shares worth $50 million, which are held via an offshore entity.

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He was arrested for creating false identities in order to receive federal tax refunds. Meanwhile, there has been an increase of young Zimbabwean men being nabbed for tax fraud in the United States of late. Early 2014, another 25 year old flamboyant socialite Tawanda Marimbire was jailed in the US.

The 76-year-old billionaire media magnate , who was convicted three times during the 1990s in the first degree before being cleared by higher courts, has the The court also ordered damages provisionally set at 10 million euros ( million ) to be paid by Berlusconi and his co-defendants to tax authorities.

Under his stewardship, Nuix won customers such as the US homeland security department and the British anti-fraud office, as well Australian Customs and the Australian Defence Force.

But two other customers, the Australian Federal Police and the ATO, were piecing together the financial trail that would lead to the conviction of Agius and Castagna in April.

In sentencing Castagna to seven years' jail and his cousin to seven years and six months', Justice Adamson held that the offences were committed over the period of a decade and “involved deliberate, calculated dishonesty.”

“They considered themselves to be members of the financial élite who, as such, were not subject to the obligations to which others must conform,” she said.

Castagna will be first eligible for release in 2022 and Agius, already serving time for a similar tax fraud, in 2021.

Among family and friends in court was Agius' best friend, caterer Arthur Isbester who was convicted but not jailed in 2012 for recklessly dealing with the proceeds of Agius’ crime.

Isbester, whose catering company Fit for a King lists rugby league clubs St George and the Sydney Roosters as clients, allowed Agius to put $1 million dollars into his business bank accounts. Isbester then ferried brown paper bags filled with cash to Agius’s clients Phillip and Eva Southcombe, who owned the Gladesville Bridge Marina.

Agius and Isbester used the code “anchors” to discuss the monthly $30,000 cash drop to the Southcombes. For three years Isbester met the marina owners at parks near their Drummoyne and later Hunters Hill home to drop off the bags of cash. The clandestine arrangement only ceased in 2008 when the federal police arrested Agius.

As the cousins were led from the dock down to the cells below the King Street court, Castagna looked toward his wife Sandra, whose testimony Justice Adamson recalled in her remarks.

“The thing that is important in life is your health and your family,” Mrs Castagna had told the court. “But no one ever tells you what it is going to be like to lose your freedom.”

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