Adam Cranston, the son of ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, is one of nine people charged after the AFP cracked a major conspiracy to defraud taxpayers of at least $165 million.
Adam Cranston, the son of ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, is one of nine people charged after the AFP cracked a major conspiracy to defraud taxpayers of at least $165 million. AAP Image/Paul Miller

ATO boss's son spent $203,000 on Italian racing cars

ADAM Cranston spent more than $200,000 on two Italian racing cars just weeks before he was arrested over Australia's largest white collar crime case

Court documents reveal 30-year-old Cranston, the son of former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, deposited $203,000 into an Italian bank account in early April for two Wolf GB08 Tornado cars.

Michael Cranston stepped down from the ATO after his son and daughter Lauren were among nine people charged over an alleged $144 million tax-evasion scheme. There is no suggestion Michael Cranston, 57, was part of the scheme, but he has been charged with using information and exercising his influence as a public officer to benefit his son.

An affidavit from an AFP officer said the Wolf cars were manufactured in Italy and the payment was for "2x racing cars".

Bank statements in the affidavit, which was heavily redacted, showed $239,000 was withdrawn from a Westpac Bank account Adam Cranston had access to in March.

The money was transferred to an account held under Synep Racing Team Pty Ltd - of which Adam Cranston was the sole director - before $203,000 was deposited into the Italian account.

 

A motor industry website reported in April Synep Racing Pty Ltd was going to enter the Wolf vehicles in the first round of the Australian Prototype Series.

Adam Cranston lived a lavish lifestyle until his arrest, with much of possessions and assets being seized by the federal police under proceeds of crime laws.

The racing cars were discovered on a property in Dudley Park, South Australia, on May 18 during a raid by AFP officers and are now being held by police.

Earlier this week, ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan told the National Press Club in Canberra

the joint AFP-ATO probe into the alleged scheme was excellent investigative work, but had left the ATO "dismayed".
Mr Jordan said the charges against Adam Cranston had been difficult to understand.

"The charges against Michael Cranston too have been equally hard to believe and at the ATO we are dismayed at the events that have unfolded in this regard.

"The connection with and alleged actions because of his son have ruined his career and his reputation and have compromised our standing and raised questions about the integrity of others within the ATO."

News Corp Australia


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