Jail Time for Property Developer

April 12, 2010 New Zealand Taxation

Entertainment District construction at nightA Wellington based property developer has been sentenced to two years jail time for multiple tax evasion charges.

On April 12th the Wellington District Court sentenced Lance Christopher James to two years jail time for 19 separate tax evasion charges amounting to NZD 365 184. Lance James pleaded guilty to eight charges of failing to file a personal tax return or paying appropriate tax obligations, and 11 charges of failing to pass on employee PAYE deductions. Despite having repaid some of the tax obligation, Lance James still owes NZD 168 000, excluding penalties and interest charges. James has been refused bail pending appeal of his sentencing.

Patrick Goggin, IRD Investigations Assurance Manager, issued a warning to others considering any form of tax evasion, saying, “Others who are tempted to cheat on their taxes should take note of this sentence and be left in no doubt of the very serious consequences if they choose that path.”

Lance Christopher James has held positions as a self-employed property developer since 1993. In many cases, Lance James acted as the sole director and shareholder for his development firms. In 2008, an arrest warrant was issued for James for aiding and abetting Brooklyn Holdings Ltd, Ohiro Properties Ltd, Complex Properties Ltd, Wadestown Properties Ltd, and Brooklyn Rise Ltd to commit tax evasion.

Photo by gorbould