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DPP (Cth) v Brandi [2021] VCC 1045

The offender was sentenced following pleas of guilty to 2 counts of dishonestly obtaining a gain from the Commonwealth contrary to s 135.1(1) of the Commonwealth Criminal Code.

Nature and Circumstances: Dishonesty was blatant as offender intentionally created false invoices to obtain GST refunds to which the entities were not entitled. Offending was motivated by offender’s financial connection to the companies for which they prepared tax documents. Offender had loaned money to the companies and had a close business relationship with the director of the companies. As principle accountant offender had authorised access to ATO systems and thus was in a position which they grossly breached.  

Contrition: At the time of offender’s guilty plea offender possessed cheque provided to the informant making full reparation to the ATO. Offender has accepted full responsibility for conduct and has expressed degree of genuine remorse. There is little evidence of remorse in terms of the wider effect of conduct on the community.  

Delay: Some of the delay can be attributed to legal professional privilege claim made by offender that took some years to resolve. Delay in this instance, however caused, is significant. In the time since the offending there has been other litigation both civil and disciplinary ongoing. Delay still carries considerable weight.  

Offender sentenced to 2 years imprisonment to be released forthwith on recognisance release order. Reparation order made.
The CSD acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Australians and recognises their culture, history, diversity and their deep connection to the land. We acknowledge that we are on the land of the traditional owners and pay respects to Elders past and present.

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