Breaking: Former EY Australia Partner’s Suppression Bid Rejected in Tax Exploitation Case

In the latest chapter of an ongoing legal drama, a Federal Court judge has slammed a former EY Australia partner’s attempt to suppress his identity as ‘an abuse of process.’ The ex-partner, embroiled in allegations of promoting tax exploitation schemes, was dismissed by EY in August 2022. His attempt to keep his name, EY’s name, and the names of his clients confidential has been met with firm opposition, culminating in a courtroom clash over the limits of privacy and the public’s right to know.

Rejected Suppression and Dismissed Evidence

The ex-partner’s bid to keep his identity under wraps was rejected by the court. His follow-up attempt to introduce new evidence to argue for his safety was also dismissed. This evidence was not included in the original suppression application and was regarded as a repetition of a previously abandoned argument.

The Australian Financial Review and the Commissioner of Taxation both opposed the suppression. The Court has currently put a temporary hold on its decision regarding the ex-partner’s appeal while it grapples with the complex issues surrounding the dismissed evidence.

Parallel Legal Battles

This case is part of a larger legal maelstrom involving the ex-partner, 875 other defendants, and a former client. In a related case, the ex-partner and these defendants are being sued in the Supreme Court of NSW over a separate tax exploitation scheme. EY is defending the claim and has fired back with a countersuit against the ex-partner.

Further complicating matters, the Australian Financial Review was denied access to court documents on the grounds of public interest. In a separate lawsuit, the Commissioner of Taxation is suing the ex-partner for promoting ‘Tax Loss Access Schemes’ to clients.

EY’s Self-Outing and Unauthorized Payments

In a surprising twist, EY applied to vary the suppression orders so it could be named. The company also disclosed that the ex-partner had taken over $700,000 in unauthorized payments related to the allegations. This move comes in the aftermath of the Financial Review’s reporting on the PwC tax leaks scandal, which has put consulting firms under increased scrutiny.

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