A bent accountant turned prosecution witness served a little over one-seventh of a potential sentence for his role in a conspiracy allegedly involving contractors Peter Bartlett and Ron Sayers.
Being questioned in front of a Supreme Court jury, prosecution witness Trevor Thomson confirmed he was told by Justice John McKechnie in 2010 that he would have ordinarily faced an eight-year sentence.
Mr Thomson confirmed he was handed a 39-month maximum sentence after pleading guilty in May, 2010, to conspiring to cause a loss to the Commonwealth and was released in June, 2011.
The tax office-trained accountant said he provided a statement to Australian Crime Commission investigators while in jail after earlier providing the agency's investigators with three statements and facing three days of interrogations.
Details of Mr Thomson's sentence and dealings with ACC investigators were revealed while he was being cross-examined by tax scheme promoter and alleged co-conspirator Greg Dunn.
The self-represented Mr Dunn is on trial alongside Mr Bartlett, Mr Sayers and accountant Deborah Grace, charged with conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth from August, 2002, to July, 2004.
The alleged conspiracy relates to backdated transactions that shifted more than $7 million of profit for the Bartlett-controlled contracting group Barminco from the 1998-99 tax year to 1999-2000.
Prosecutors claim the alleged actions were designed to protect a $50 million tax avoidance scheme involving the Sayers and Bartlett family trusts for 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
Mr Dunn told the jury earlier in the trial that Mr Thomson received a reduced sentence because he would testify.
The scheme promoter said he had sacked Mr Thomson for incompetence around June, 2002, and told the jury the prosecution would have to prove he conspired with a man with whom he was hardly speaking.
Mr Thomson agreed with suggestions from Mr Dunn yesterday that their relationship started deteriorating in late 2001 after the accountant admitted he had not filed a tax return for Barminco since 1997. "I didn't push hard enough to get it done . . . I was lax in my duty," he said.
He said he could not recall Mr Dunn ever saying he was sacked or a meeting where that might have taken place. He recalled Mr Dunn taking his work to another accountant.The trial continues Monday.