Payne said Willmott’s involvement in the conspiracies spanned about two years to May 2016. He was not satisfied that Willmott’s behavior in early 2017 “was part of the crime.”
The Australian Federal Police began an investigation in September 2016 and secretly recorded conversations. In February 2017, Willmott asked his co-conspirators, “Are any of us going to jail?”
Menon replied, “No.” Adam Cranston said, “Not if we join forces, and then we won’t do it.”
The judge found that Willmott had shown no remorse or remorse.
He could not conclude that he had good prospects for rehabilitation and was “disturbed” that “even now, Mr. Willmott does not acknowledge that one of his co-conspirators did anything wrong”.
Payne said that nothing in a letter from Willmott to the court indicated he had accepted crimes and he “writes as if he were a victim of the behavior of others, including the ATO [Australian Taxation Office]“.
The judge on Monday sentenced Lauren Cranston to a maximum of eight years in prison and labeled Adam Cranston and Onley as the principals and “architects of the plan” and Menon as “significant participants in the conspiracies.”
The three men are awaiting conviction on the same two counts as Willmott, which carry maximum sentences of 10 and 25 years in prison and/or fines of $108,000 and $270,000 respectively.
It was revealed in court on Thursday that the Commonwealth Attorney General has decided to stop funding lawyers for Adam Cranston, who had received legal aid since 2021 after his assets were seized and his finances frozen in 2017.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said Cranston had been granted “comprehensive taxpayer-funded Commonwealth legal aid” pending his conviction and put questions to Legal Aid NSW, who have been asked for comment. The case will appear in court again on Tuesday.
Willmott will be eligible for parole for the first time in 2029.
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