Distributor jailed for fraud

Distributor jailed for fraud

A former executive from a Melbourne distributor will spend between six months and two-and-a-half years behind bars after being found guilty of sales tax fraud by the Melbourne County Court.

Edward Sai Chi Ho, a former manager at Hallmark Computers International, was yesterday found guilty on six charges of defrauding the Commonwealth after a jury trial lasting more than four weeks.

The court heard that the fraud evaded $184,686 in sales tax six years ago. The prosecution case was that Ho arranged for computer dealers Roger Wilco Computers and Bi-Future Technology to buy computer hardware from Hallmark on a sales tax-exempt basis and then invoice it to customers on the basis that sales tax had been paid. The invoices were allegedly false because the customers were really buying from Hallmark and the sales tax was not paid.

Judge Anderson yesterday sentenced Ho to a total of two and a half years, ordering him to be released after six months on condition he remain of good behaviour for two years.

The court heard that Ho had paid the Commonwealth $369,373 in tax and penalties since the trial.

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