Wheatley in jail after $300,000 fraud Jul 19, 2007 4:30:18 GMT -5
Post by abraham on Jul 19, 2007 4:30:18 GMT -5
Wheatley in jail after $300,000 fraud
Australian music entrepreneur Glenn Wheatley is in jail tonight, after being sentenced for defrauding the Commonwealth of more than $300,000.
Wheatley is set to spend the next 15 months in jail, with a further 15 months suspended, for not declaring his income from a John Farnham tour and a Kostya Tszyu boxing match.
The Victorian County Court was told he defrauded the tax office of $318,000 using a Swiss-based tax minimisation scheme.
The court heard of Wheatley's contribution to the music industry and charities.
Judge Tim Wood said Wheatley's offences were born out of need rather than greed, after a failed business venture left him and his wife heavily in debt.
But he also said the sophisticated fraud was premeditated, involved elaborate concealment measures and left all taxpayers as victims.
Wheatley's lawyers had been hoping for a wholly suspended sentence, saying his cooperation was crucial to Australia's largest investigation into tax fraud.
The lawyers have indicated they will lodge an appeal against the severity of the sentence tomorrow.
Wheatley seemed stunned today when he realised his cooperation with the Australian Crime Commission would not save him from jail, as once promised by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The board of Professional Boxing and Combat Sports Victoria issued Wheatley with a permit to promote the Kostya Tszyu boxing match.
Chairman Bernie Balmer says he is surprised Wheatley has been sentenced to jail.
"We found him to be easy to deal with, very compliant with our acts, rules and regulations," he said.
"We found him to be a gentleman and I am sad he has got to serve some time."
He says Wheatley will be a loss to the sport while he is in jail.
"Someone with his managerial skills and promotional skills is going to be a loss to the fight game," he said.
Television personality Bert Newton gave a character witness statement for Glenn Wheatley.
In a statement he expressed his sadness at the sentence handed down by the court.
Newton says has known Wheatley for more than 30 years and will continue to be his friend despite the present situation.
Newton says he considers Wheatley one of the nicest people in show business.