THE man who founded RAMS Home Loans and brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts to Australia has been charged over an alleged $30 million tax fraud spanning two decades.
Australian Federal Police have charged 76-year-old John Kinghorn with fraudulently concealing his beneficial ownership and control of corporate entities, after an eight-year investigation.
The multi-millionaire Sydney businessman appeared briefly at Downing Centre Local Court this morning.
It is alleged he fraudulently concealed his beneficial ownership of and control of companies and avoiding tax of more than $30 million. The maximum penalty is 10 years' jail.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said the charges were laid following a lengthy investigation involving the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce and international agencies.
"Serious financial crime poses a threat to Australia's economy, financial markets, regulatory frameworks, superannuation and tax system," Mr Gaughin, National Manager for Organised Crime and Cyber, said this morning.
"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 the court."
Kinghorn, of Mosman, has been charged with dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth public official by telling the Commissioner of Taxation between about March 6 2004 and about March 10 2007 that he did not control Kalomo Corporation Limited.
He has also been charged with dishonestly influencing a Commonwealth public official between the same dates by telling the Commissioner of Taxation that he did not control Kalomo Pacific Leasing Limited.
The third offence alleges he defrauded the Commonwealth between about June 29 1997 and July 1 1997 by telling the Australian Taxation Office that he did not control any unlisted company incorporated outside Australia thereby prejudicing the Commissioner of Taxation's ability to assess his income tax liability.
The case was adjourned to February 6 next year with the prosecution brief to be served by January 9.
Kinghorn sold the RAMS brand name to Westpac in November 2007.
Krispy Kreme was launched in Australia in 2003.
Originally published as RAMS founder charged over $30m fraud
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.