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Chch builder gets jail sentence for pocketing $1.5m of employees' tax

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A businessman involved in the Canterbury rebuild has been sentenced to three years and four months in jail for not paying $1,517,293 of his employee’s tax deductions to Inland Revenue.

Libor Lasek, 47, was sentenced on 44 charges relating to five building services companies in Christchurch District Court today. He had failed to pass on the PAYE deducted from his employees’ pay, along with KiwiSaver, child support, superannuation and student loan payments, over a four-year period.

Inland Revenue spokesperson Tony Morris said Lasek showed a degree of contempt for the tax system, as his offending continued for nearly three years after he was initially warned about the consequences.

Shortly after four of his companies were placed in liquidation on application by Inland Revenue, he carried on with the same type of offending while controlling another company.

"Mr Lasek was given multiple opportunities to put this situation right and entered into several instalment arrangements to clear the arrears. But ultimately he never followed through and clearly decided that meeting his tax obligations was not a priority."

Mr Morris said Lasek was getting an unfair advantage over his competitors in the building industry by not passing on his employees’ taxes.

"This is money that employers hold on trust for the Crown, to be used to fund services that all New Zealanders benefit from such as roads, schools and hospitals. It’s not theirs to spend on whatever purpose they decide."

The five companies involved in the offending - Libor Interiors Ltd, Libor Living Ltd, Libor Ltd, L Group Ltd and Canterbury Joinery - have all been placed in liquidation. They owed in total more than $2.6 million to Inland Revenue and other creditors.

The total tax that remained unpaid across all companies after late payments and credit transfers was $1,371,673, and is unlikely to be recovered.

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