A man who managed the affairs of three companies, all of which have gone into liquidation, has been ordered to pay $180,000 reparations to the Inland Revenue Department.
After being prohibited from being a manager or director of a business, and made bankrupt himself, Richard Lascelles, 43, was withholding PAYE deductions from the wages of employees and not paying them to the Inland Revenue Department.
He was charged with 34 offences against the Tax Administration Act with defaults over three years amounting to more than $400,000.
Defence counsel Pip Hall QC said Lascelles was a nice man but an appalling businessman. He had started paying reparation last year.
Judge Tony Couch said Lascelles was employing staff for three companies, and between March 2009 and August 2012 $98,000 tax was deducted from employees at Independent Scaffolding Supplies Ltd, but only $12,000 was paid to Inland Revenue.
Between June 2010 and February 2012 he deducted $252,000 from employees at Graterlea Ltd and only paid Inland Revenue $12,000.
Between March 2010 to October 2010 Site Staff Ltd employees had $208,000 deducted and only $50,000 paid.
All three companies were put into liquidation, two by Inland Revenue Department, and one on its own volition.
Throughout the period he was in control of the businesses and employment of staff of the three companies. He was directly responsible for the companies’ actions, Judge Couch said.
In September 2008 Lascelles had been prohibited from being a director or manager of a company, and was then made bankrupt and not allowed to manage a company without the consent of the Official Assignee. All actions in managing the three companies were in breach of his prohibition and bankruptcy.
Judge Couch said arrangements were in place to give the impression Lascelles was not involved in the day to day management of the businesses.
He said the offending was against the Inland Revenue Commissioner, and also the community.
He sentenced Lascelles to 12 months home detention and ordered the reparation payment.