Mixed verdict in tax evasion trial
A high-profile Wellington tax specialist has been found not guilty of facilitating another man's $1.5 million tax evasion, but guilty for his involvement with a fictitious invoice-writing scheme.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Simon France in the High Court in Wellington this morning Brent John Gilchrist, 52, was found not guilty on six counts of being a party to the tax evasion of Paul William O'Connor, 64.
O'Connor, who had name suppression until this morning, was found guilty on 14 charges and not guilty on five other charges brought by the Inland Revenue Department.
A third man, Scott Crawford Anderson, was found guilty on two charges in relation to O'Connor's offending, for providing false statements to the IRD based on invoices relating to his company, Globe.Net.
The trial began in June and lasted about a month, as the IRD alleged Gilchrist and Anderson provided assistance and encouragement which allowed O'Connor to deliberately evade tax over a lengthy period.
Gilchrist was, however, found guilty to related charges of being involved with a fictitious invoice-writing scheme.
He was convicted with Anderson of providing another man, who has name suppression, with false invoices.
These separate charges were heard at the same time as those relating to the O'Connor case, but were delivered in a separate judgment today.
Justice France ordered pre-sentence and home detention reports for all three men, who will appear for sentencing on August 30.
He said he had no view as to what the final outcome of the sentencing might be.