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Jail sentence for fuel substitution, excise evasion.



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Media Release - Nat 2000/34

Jail sentence for fuel substitution, excise evasion A truck driver from Darling Heights, Toowoomba, Queensland, Mr Gregory David Williams, 41, yesterday received a jail sentence for excise evasion charges relating to a number of instances where he purchased marked solvent and on-sold that product to service stations as transport fuel.

Mr Williams, who trades as Queensland Tanker Services, pleaded guilty on Monday 27 March 2000 in the Brisbane District Court to three counts of defrauding the Commonwealth. His Honour, Justice Robertson, sentenced Williams to twelve months on each count, to be served concurrently. He is to be released after three months on giving security of $1,000 to be of good behaviour for the remainder of the term.

"The Tax Office is concerned about the effects on government revenue of petroleum excise evasion practices engaged in by unscrupulous operators. These practices also have an unfair impact on the competitiveness of law abiding parties in the market," Assistant Tax Commissioner, Excise, Bruce Thompson, said today.

"The Government introduced a new petroleum tariff with effect from 15 November 1999 which, together with a range of administrative measures put in place by the Tax Office, is working to address these practices. The approach to fuel substitution has been supported by an extensive education campaign for the industry.

"While pursuing these matters through the courts is far from our preferred option, we are determined to take any appropriate action to prevent people avoiding their obligations under the law. This jail sentence should send a

strong message that the community will not tolerate tax evasion," Mr Thompson said.

CANBERRA

18 April 2000

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