Part 2: Betrayal At The Heart Of Australia’s Biggest Tax Fraud 

This is the incredible story of Adam Cranston and Lauren Cranston, the children of a former tax deputy commissioner who attempted to steal $105m from the ATO.   

The pair and several others were arrested in 2017. The jury then was sent to deliberate on their verdict in mid-January, followed by the NSW supreme court trial in April last year. On 13 March 2023, the pair returned the guilty verdict.  

On today’s Briefing, we continue our conversation with Weekend Telegraph journalist Brenden Hills for part 2 of this story.   

Click the link below and listen the full episode:

In this half, Brenden explains how the pair abused their father’s position, the phone tapes that eventually brought them undone, and how their relationship with their father is looking now.  

Mr Cranston soon realised he was in trouble after receiving a garnishee order. In this case, the ATO issued a garnishee order requesting Plutus Payroll to pay off the owed tax funds. 

That’s a big problem for Adam’s operation…so he has to figure out a way to ask his dad just in a manner that if his dad responds in one way, it will tell him there is no investigation, or if his dad freaks out, then he knows they have a problem here,”

Brenden says

Brendon said the call between Adam Cranston and Michael Cranston happened in April 2017, when the ATO shifted its target from the second-tier company to the Plutus Payroll. 

When he (Adam) reveals $45 million, you can just hear Michael pauses and starts to have a panic attack, and says ‘45 million dollars’, Michael freaks out at not even the full truth of what his son is doing,”

Brenden explains.

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