Insane lifestyle behind Australia's largest tax fraud ring
JUSTICE will finally be served on the mastermind behind the country's largest ever tax fraud ring this morning, when former Gold Coast developer Michael Issakidis is sentenced over a conspiracy to claim fake tax deductions of $450 million.
Issakidis was arrested more than five years ago after an investigation stretching back to 2006 found he laundered millions of dollars through the Middle East and Hong Kong before using the cash to buy luxury cars, boats and a Queensland shopping centre.
Issakidis and his wife Donrecka, who was rumoured to have once chartered a plane to go shopping in Sydney in the 1990s, owned a string of luxury properties and cars, including Doris Day's old Rolls Royce.
But Issakidis escaped sentencing last year after he and Donrecka were found unconscious in a luxury car parked in the garage of their Gold Coast waterfront mansion, while his business partner Anthony Dickson was sentenced in 2015 to 14 years in jail for his role in the scam.
The Daily Telegraph understands the Serious Financial Crimes Taskforce, which was set up in 2015 by the Australian Federal Police and Australian Taxation Office after a successful sting, has now clawed back more than $562 million from fraudsters and money launderers.
It is currently dealing with about 30 criminal, civil and intelligence matters.
Issakidis, 73, was extradited from Queensland late last year and will today be sentenced over a scheme which involved fraudulently claiming tax deductions through a company called NeuMedix Health on intellectual property which purportedly was acquired from a Cayman Islands company funded by a Samoan financier.
Issakidis and Dickson received approximately $63 million from their role in the arrangement, with the AFP recovering $55 million in assets such as a range of performance vehicles including four Rolls-Royces, a Lamborghini Spyder, an Aston Martin and a BMW.
The sentencing of Issakidis will bring to an end a saga which has dragged on for more than 12 years.
Dickson's jail sentence was the longest ever given for tax fraud.