Skip to content
Government Federal, Taxation

Perth man jailed as Protego enforcement action continues

Australian Taxation Office 2 mins read

A Perth man was sentenced yesterday in the Perth District Court to two years’ imprisonment to be released after serving 12 months, after obtaining almost $110,000 in fraudulent GST refunds contrary to s134.2 of the Criminal Code (Cth). He will be released on a recognisance in the sum of $1000 to be of good behaviour for a period of 18 months in accordance with section 20(1)(b) of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) and was ordered to repay the amounts fraudulently obtained.

This is a result of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) extensive efforts under Operation Protego, which was initiated in response to widespread GST fraud activity and includes compliance and debt recovery actions, and criminal investigations, leading to jail sentences for serious offenders.

Deputy Commissioner and Serious Financial Crime Taskforce Chief John Ford said ‘We’ve warned the community that we take attempts at GST fraud seriously. We’ve urged offenders to come forward to the ATO or face severe consequences including imprisonment.’

Justin McCormick had a registered ABN between March 2009 and February 2015, which he re-registered on 11 February 2022 with the intent to lodge business activity statements (BAS) for a business that did not exist and to claim GST on purchases that were never made.

Between February 2022 and March 2022, Mr McCormick lodged two original and three revised BAS via the ATO’s online portal which he accessed through myGov. Mr McCormick’s illegal behaviour ceased after the ATO commenced audits on the BAS lodged for each of the relevant GST reporting periods.

As a result of the false information reported in each BAS, Mr McCormick obtained $109,278 in fraudulent GST refunds, an amount to which he was not entitled.

Mr McCormick was convicted of five offences of dishonestly obtaining a financial advantage by deception from the Commissioner of Taxation.

Mr McCormick was prosecuted by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions following a referral from the ATO.

Under Operation Protego, the ATO has taken action against more than 56,000 alleged offenders, and those involved in this fraud have already been handed in the order of $300 million in penalties and interest which continues to accrue.

‘We are escalating our efforts to enforce repayment of this fraud. For those people who did receive fraudulent payments, this debt will remain against their account and interest will continue to apply. Some of these fraudsters can expect to be in debt to the ATO for many years to come and any refunds will be offset immediately to repay the debt,’ said Mr Ford. 

‘Most Australians believe in a level playing field for businesses, to keep it fair for all. It’s unfair for others to gain a competitive advantage by intentionally doing the wrong thing. This puts pressure on Australians who are doing the right thing and has broader impacts on our community.’

‘Our message is clear, if you don’t run a legitimate business, you do not need an ABN and you cannot claim GST refunds,’ said Mr Ford.

You can anonymously report suspected tax evasion or crime to us by making a tip-off online or call 1800 060 062. For more information about Operation Protego visit

Contact details:

(02) 6216 1901

More from this category

  • Government Federal, Taxation
  • 01/12/2023
  • 08:41
Australian Taxation Office

ATO welcomes decision in Pepsi vs Commissioner of Taxation

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) welcomes the decision by the Federal Court in relation to PepsiCo, Inc. v Commissioner of Taxation. The Court delivered an oral judgment yesterday with the full judgment subject to confidentiality orders. This decision confirms PepsiCo, Inc. (Pepsi) is liable for royalty withholding tax and, in the alternative, diverted profits tax would apply. This is the first time a Court has considered the diverted profits tax – a new tool to ensure multinationals pay the right amount of tax. Deputy Commissioner Rebecca Saint said this is a landmark decision as it confirms that the diverted profits…

  • Government Federal, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 01/12/2023
  • 08:35
Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia endorses move to establish anti-slavery commissioner

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) strongly endorses the federal government’s move to establish an anti-slavery commissioner under a bill introduced to parliament on Thursday. “Establishing an anti-slavery commissioner is an important step forward in tackling the scourge of modern slavery,” said CHA Strategy & Mission Director Brigid Meney. “CHA has been calling for this move and is pleased to see the government progressing it. “CHA stands firmly against modern slavery which violates fundamental human rights and has no place in Australia or the world more broadly.” Ms Meney said a federal anti-slavery commissioner can play a key role in improving reporting…

  • Government Federal
  • 30/11/2023
  • 15:30
Parliament of Australia

Audit Committee to inquire into Home Affairs’ abandoned $92 million visa application procurement

TheJoint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit(JCPAA) has initiated a new inquiry to examine the Department of Home Affairs’ procurement of a replacement IT system for processing visa applications. Home Affairs engaged in a multi-stage procurement for the visa processing capability which commenced in September 2017, with a new related process beginning in October 2020. Chair of the Committee,Mr Julian HillMP, said that the inquiry will consider the expenditure incurred and whether value for money was achieved, the impact of anticipated savings on the Department of Home Affairs, the conduct of entities or persons involved or interested in the process,…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time your distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.