RAMS Home Loans founder John Kinghorn charged by AFP with fraud

RAMS Home Loans founder John Kinghorn charged by AFP with fraud
RAMS Home Loans founder John Kinghorn charged by AFP with fraud

The founder of RAMS Home Loans, John Kinghorn, 76, has been charged with fraud offences after allegedly avoiding taxes worth more than $30 million.

Kinghorn did not enter a plea as he faced Sydney's Downing Centre Court this morning.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) alleges he fraudulently concealed his beneficial ownership of two companies from the tax office between 2004 and 2007.

He has been charged with dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth public official and defrauding the Commonwealth, after an eight-year investigation.

The maximum penalty for the offences is 10 years' imprisonment.

Court documents show the two companies are Kalomo Pacific leasing and Kalomo Corporation limited, the ABC noted.

The AFR says the charges of fraudulently concealing beneficial ownership and tax evasion against John Kinghorn relate to the sale of RAMS Home Loans in 2007.

The AFP commenced its investigation in June 2009, which the AFR noted was  two years after Kinghorn floated RAMS for $650 million. 

On Friday, 6 October 2017, AFP officers served him a Court Attendance Notice regarding Commonwealth fraud offences.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan, National Manager Organised Crime and Cyber, said the investigation required extensive cooperation within the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce and with international agencies.

“I’d like to commend the officers involved in this complex and lengthy investigation for their persistence and dedication to ensuring the integrity of Australia’s financial frameworks,” Assistant Commissioner Gaughan said.

“Serious financial crime poses a threat to Australia’s economy, financial markets, regulatory frameworks, superannuation and tax system.

“Commonwealth fraud offences have a significant impact on the Australian public – every dollar represents funds that could have been put to use for the benefit of the whole community.

“This result should serve as a warning that we will use every capability at our disposal to bring allegations of fraud before court.”

The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce is a multi-agency effort targeting serious financial crime in Australia. The taskforce sits within the AFP-led Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre. Offences targeted by the taskforce relate to serious fraud, money laundering and defrauding the Commonwealth.

Since the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce was established in July 2015, more than 614 audits have been completed and $408 million tax liabilities have been raised. Four people have received custodial sentences following prosecution. There are currently 26 criminal, civil and intelligence matters in progress.

Fairfax Media noted today that news that Kinghorn was facing investigation by the AFP was revealed in a 2014 book on Eddie Obeid by Linton Besser and The Sydney Morning Herald journalist Kate McClymont.

It noted that secret phone taps of Kinghorn and others about a Obeid coal mine were supplied to ICAC by the AFP which was conducting its tax-related inquiry.

Tags: 
Fraud

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