Australian tax official charged in $123 million fraud probe

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australian police say a senior tax bureaucrat and his son are among 10 people charged over a sophisticated tax fraud that netted 165 million Australian dollars ($123 million) in less than a year.

Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Leanne Close said on Thursday Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston faces up to five years in prison if convicted of abusing his position as a public servant by passing information to his son, Adam Cranston, the 30-year-old managing director of a Sydney-based financial services company.

Police do not allege the bureaucrat was part of his son's nine-member criminal syndicate that spent unpaid taxes on luxury homes, racing cars, aircraft, motorbikes, jewelry, art and vintage wine.

The nine was arrested in police raids on Wednesday and will appear in court Thursday.