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Jack Gramenz

Final verdict in 'Ben Hur' tax scheme's marathon trial

Patrick Willmott was the final accused to be found guilty of conspiring to defraud the tax office. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

All five people accused of conspiring in what one described as the "Ben Hur" of tax scams and another called the "biggest tax fraud in Australia's history" have now been found guilty after a marathon trial.

The last conspirator in the Plutus Payroll tax scheme trial still awaiting the jury's verdict learned their fate on Tuesday, almost 11 months after the trial began in the NSW Supreme Court.

Patrick Willmott, 36, was the final member of the group found guilty of conspiring to cause a loss to the Commonwealth and deal with the proceeds of crime worth more than $1 million.

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

Four others - Adam Cranston, 36, his younger sister Lauren Cranston, 30, Dev Menon, 39, and 52-year-old Jason Onley - also received guilty verdicts on the same charges earlier in March, after being charged in 2017.

The first charge relates to what Crown Prosecutor Paul McGuire SC called "the tax fraud conspiracy" and the second to "the money laundering conspiracy".

The jury was satisfied the conspirators intentionally entered into an agreement among themselves and others to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth by creating companies that agreed not to remit pay-as-you-go or goods and services tax from the clients of Plutus Payroll to the Commissioner of Taxation.

At the time of the offending, Adam and Lauren Cranston's father, Michael Cranston, was the Australian Taxation Office's deputy commissioner and chaired the OECD Taskforce on Tax Crimes.

The charges against his children were followed by his resignation from a four-decade career with the tax office later in 2017, when he was also criminally charged. A NSW District Court jury found him not guilty in 2019.

The Supreme Court jury was satisfied the Plutus conspirators knew or believed they would be dealing with criminal proceeds of more than $1 million in the money laundering conspiracy, dealing with the funds from the tax fraud conspiracy.

Lawyers began giving their closing addresses on day 123 of the trial on November 30.

The jury had been sitting for seven months.

"It might feel like seven years for some of you," Mr McGuire told them then.

"On the other hand, you're about to embark on the most important aspect of your roles."

It involved weighing up the evidence of more than 30 witnesses, dozens of exhibits, and hundreds of recorded conversations.

"If this was fully uncovered and they knew exactly what was going on, it would be f***ing Ben Hur man," Adam Cranston was recorded saying in one.

The recording captured Menon's response.

"It would be the biggest tax fraud in Australia's history, definitely, there is no question," he said.

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.

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

The five Plutus conspirators will face sentencing hearings on May 4.

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