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DPP v Korras [2019] VCC 1681

sentence — dishonestly causing a loss or risk to the Commonwealth knowing or believing that the loss would occur or that there was a substantial risk of the loss occurring offence contrary to s 131.1(5) of Commonwealth Criminal Code — offence relates to $85,638 of tax evaded — nature and circumstances of the offence — s 16A(2)(a) — offender not instigator of scheme but knew what was happening and turned a blind eye to it — while this lessens moral culpability to some extent, offender was joint owner of company and in position to stop offending conduct which lasted more than 3 years — modestly serious example of this offence and offender’s moral culpability is high — general deterrence — s 16A(2)(ja) — general deterrence and denunciation are prime considerations in respect of this offence — courts have significant responsibility to protect integrity of revenue system by imposing punishment for deliberate and sustained fraud to deter others — tax fraud has many harmful, but often hidden, social consequences, is difficult to detect and if undetected the rewards can be great — crimes not victimless because burden of fraud falls on whole Australian community — guilty plea — s 16A(2)(g) — plea entered at first reasonable forensic opportunity and plea has significant utilitarian benefit in light of the likely length and complexity of any trial — it also indicates an acceptance by offender of responsibility for offending conduct and a willingness to facilitate the course of justice —— character — s 16A(2)(m) — contrition — s 16A(2)(f) — reparation — s 16A(2)(f)(i) — offender of relevantly prior good character, worked hard to provide for family and contributed to community in number of ways — offender sentenced on the basis that offender is truly remorseful for offending — also evident by fact offender has made full restitution to the ATO — specific deterrence — s 16A(2)(j) — rehabilitation — sentencing judge accepted offender learnt salutary lesson from investigation, charging and legal process of this matter — accordingly, sentencing judge gave no weight to specific deterrence or protection of community in sentencing, and assessed prospects of rehabilitation as being very good — delay — delay in finalising proceedings through no fault of offender, with matter hanging over offender’s head for some time this delay caused degree of stress and anxiety to offender — hardship — s 16A(2)(p) — offender’s care of handicapped mother not such as to constitute exceptional circumstances of type sufficient to enliven s 16A(2)(p), however sentencing judge accepted any sentence of imprisonment by reason of offender’s mother’s ill health would weigh heavily on offender in a custodial environment — sentence imposed 2 years’ and 6 months imprisonment, offender released immediately on recognisance release order and a $10,000 fine — s 6AAA — sentencing judge would have imposed sentence of 3 years’ and 6 months imprisonment with a 2 year non-parole period and a $12,500 fine but for offender’s plea of guilty
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