Anthony Robert Lee, 64, pleaded guilty to tax fraud.
Anthony Robert Lee, 64, pleaded guilty to tax fraud. John Weekes

Beef cheat used 'dummy' invoice to milk taxman

DUMMY invoices were among tricks used to get tax refunds a fraudster spent on a failing beef business.

Former Evans Head man Anthony Robert Lee, 64, pleaded guilty to what a Commonwealth prosecutor called a "sophisticated" scam.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Bruce Mumford said Lee asked a Warwick beef processor in late 2013 for a "dummy invoice".

Brisbane District Court heard Lee used this invoice to get a letter of credit from his bank.

Lee also used tax invoices from the Warwick company to substantiate claims he lodged with the Australian Tax Office.

The prosecutor said Lee got $821,241 for GST refunds he was not entitled to, and attempted to get a further $185,000.

The ill-gotten gains appeared to have been spent, so taxpayers had little hope of "restitution or reparation", Mr Mumford said.

Judge Anthony Rafter was told bank account analysis showed Lee forked out for accommodation and travel to rural areas connected with the beef business.

Lee also went to Korea, where he claimed to have business interests, Mr Mumford said.

The charges related to HQB Exporters and Agri Beef Cattle Company.

At the time of the offences, Mr Lee was the only director of these companies.

The court heard Agri Beef had a contract with the Warwick company to process and package cattle for export.

Mr Mumford said Lee committed "calculated and persistent" fraud to prop up his failing business.

Five times, Lee lodged bank statements falsely claiming he'd made significant purchases for which he was entitled to GST refunds.

"Rather than acknowledge the claims were false [he] arranged for false documents to support the dishonest claims," Mr Mumford said.

There was no suggestion the Warwick company acted improperly.

Defence lawyer Frank Dzelalija said Lee "does have some medical issues".

The court heard Lee had no prior convictions.

Public records show a court application to wind up HQB was lodged in 2015.

The same year, ASIC proposed to deregister Agri Beef.

Lee pleaded guilty to charges including obtaining financial advantage by deception.

His sentencing did not finish on Tuesday so the case was adjourned to Wednesday. -NewsRegional