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The New Daily
The New Daily
The New Daily

Final verdict in Plutus tax scheme’s mammoth trial

Patrick Willmott has been found guilty of conspiring to defraud the tax office. Photo: AAP

The last remaining person accused over their role in the Plutus Payroll tax scheme has been found guilty after a marathon trial.

Patrick Willmott, 36, was the last of the group of five accused of conspiring to cause a loss to the Commonwealth and deal with the proceeds of crime worth more than $1 million still awaiting his fate on Tuesday morning.

The NSW Supreme Court jury delivered the guilty verdict after its 72nd note of the trial was delivered to Justice Anthony Payne.

Four others – Adam Cranston, his younger sister Lauren, Dev Menon and Jason Onley – also received guilty verdicts this month.

The conspiracy by the group defrauded the Australian Tax Office of more than $105 million between 2014 and 2017. Their scam used a free payroll service known as Plutus Payroll, which shifted tax money via a complex network of second-tier companies.

Willmott was a high school friend of Cranston, who is the son of former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston. Prosecutors told the jury Michael Cranston was not accused of wrongdoing.

Justice Payne thanked the jury after the trial, which began in April 2022, finally ended.

“I said to you at the outset that you were the most important people in the courtroom and I think you now know why,” the judge said.

“Thank you, for your concentration, your efforts, punctuality and attention.”

Those who served on the jury will not have to serve on another jury for 20 years unless they want to, Justice Payne ordered.

– with AAP

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