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11 April 2024, 7:01am
Media Release

Suspected criminal operation accused of laundering $1 billion

This is a joint media release between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Taxation Office as part of the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce

Editor’s note: Images of the seized items and audio grabs from Assistant Commissioner Kristy Schofield are available via Hightail

The AFP has seized $500,000 as part of an investigation into a Sydney-based cheque cashing entity suspected of laundering more than $1 billion to facilitate tax fraud.

It is suspected this operation was used by businesses from a range of industries to help them evade their tax obligations and commit tax fraud.

The suspected criminal operation received business funds in electronic or cheque form and purported to provide goods and services in return, evidenced by fraudulent invoices. The participating business then received their funds back as cash, minus a commission. This is commonly known as a false invoicing arrangement, which is a key focus area for the SFCT.

Authorities executed search warrants at seven residential and business properties on Friday April 5, 2024 in the Sydney suburbs of Liverpool, Beverly Hills, Kingsgrove, Cabramatta and Earlwood as part of the joint investigation.

During the searches, officers seized more than $500,000 cash, financial documents, electronic devices, and mobile phones which will undergo further analysis.

A gel blaster firearm and fireworks were also seized.

A man, 55, was arrested and charged with a breach of bail for an unrelated offence and was formally refused bail at Bankstown Local Court on Friday, April 5, 2024. He will next appear in court on 31 May, 2024.

Complementing AFP action, the ATO made Access Without Notice (AWON) visits across five sites in NSW and Victoria.

AFP Detective Acting Superintendent James Rowe said financial crime and tax fraud robbed Australians of money which could be used to benefit their communities.

“The AFP works closely with the ATO to ensure people who cheat the tax system or enable others to avoid their obligations are not rewarded for their conduct,” he said.

“Our investigative team - which is made up of highly skilled investigators, forensic accountants and technical experts – work diligently to ensure that anyone responsible for financial crime is brought to justice.

ATO Deputy Commissioner and SFCT Chief John Ford said: “The action taken last week demonstrates that we will identify and act against individuals and businesses engaging with false invoicing arrangements to avoid their tax and super obligations.”

“The SFCT is warning businesses against using these types of arrangements. We will effectively deal with those who engage in false invoicing, or other illegal financial arrangements and work with partner agencies where appropriate,” Mr Ford said.

“We encourage those involved in false invoicing arrangements to come forward and make a voluntary disclosure.”

Investigations are continuing.

For more information on false invoicing arrangements visit

For more information about the SFCT visit

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