Lauren Cranston faces years in prison for $105 million in tax fraud, the court said
“She’s not a drug user, she’s not an alcoholic, she’s not someone who hits friends and family,” he said. “She’s someone who just made a bad decision and she’s going to pay a terrible, terrible price for it.”
Judge Anthony Payne conceded it was a “tragedy for the daughter”. He inquired whether remorse or remorse had been expressed.
“Let’s say I’m for a statement of misguided loyalty to her brother,” he said. “It seems like it’s still there.”
Anderson said it was an isolated case and that his client “will never go to court for anything again.”
Referring to the hierarchy of the fraud scheme, Crown Prosecutor Paul McGuire, SC stated that Lauren Cranston is “not at the bottom but close”.
He previously described the conspiracy as “a bit like a train” where people depart, join and have different roles, saying it’s “like a ticket collector” or “a person shoveling coal”.
McGuire argued that Cranston was knowingly involved as early as April and May 2014, when she was in her early 20s, and that her involvement peaked in 2016.
“From time to time [she] was involved in the exercise of their decision-making autonomy,” he said.
In December 2016, in one of 360 verified records, Lauren Cranston called her brother and Menon about accounts being frozen by the IRS. McGuire said she spoke with knowledge “that no taxes were paid.”
On another occasion this month, Cranston said a little appreciation “wouldn’t go astray.”
In a February 2017 recording, she was coached by Menon to lie and blame Peter Larcombe, a co-conspirator who fled overseas and committed suicide the previous year.
Regarding the footage, the judge said at one point, Lauren Cranston tried to get her brother to “focus on reality…since he seems to focus on Porsches and cars” and a plot of land in Vacy in the to build Region Hunter.
The enormous tax liability was held by second-tier corporations with bogus directors to make Plutus appear “squeaky clean”. The companies were liquidated and new ones founded in order to avoid an audit by the tax office.
The prosecutor said Lauren Cranston knowingly took advantage of the vulnerable straw directors, calling them “numerous drug addicts”, suggesting they were “brought together by others”.
He said the defense conceded that full-time detention was the “only appropriate punishment.”
The judge said he understood that Cranston’s lawyers accepted that she was facing “several years in prison”. He will sentence Cranston on Monday.
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