A bent accountant has told a Supreme Court jury he was not strong enough to object to falsified documents being created for trusts linked to mining contractors Peter Bartlett and Ron Sayers.
Trevor Thomson said he let everyone down by not standing up in 2002 after tax scheme mastermind Greg Dunn instructed him to type up on an old typewriter resolutions backdated by more than three years.
"At the time I did not contemplate that these were a criminal document, sorry, part of a criminal offence," the tax office-trained accountant said. "I was not strong enough to think through it and say it was wrong."
The former director of Mr Bartlett's flagship contracting company Barminco was being cross-examined by Mr Sayers' lawyer Tony Staehli after giving evidence for Federal prosecutors.
Mr Sayers, Mr Bartlett, Mr Dunn and accountant Deborah Grace have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to dishonestly cause a loss to the Commonwealth.
The alleged conspiracy relates to backdated transactions that effectively shifted a $7 million profit for a trust behind Barminco from the 1998-99 tax year to 1999-2000.
The prosecutions claim the transactions were designed to protect a $50 million tax avoidance scheme that ran in 1999-2000 and 2000-01 mostly covering profits generated from Barminco.
Mr Thomson pleaded guilty in 2010 and served 13 months of a 39 month sentence. Mr Dunn told the jury the accountant had received a reduced sentence for agreeing to be a Crown witness.
Mr Thomson said trust resolutions for the allegedly false transactions were signed by Mr Sayers and Mr Bartlett after they were explained by Mr Dunn with a whiteboard presentation.
He agreed with Mr Staehli that it was possible that someone could cut out signatures and attach them to a document.
Mr Staehli asked: "Did you do that?" He replied: "No."
The accountant denied there was another meeting where Mr Dunn explained the transactions on a whiteboard.
He said he finalised tax returns under instruction from Ms Grace reflecting the transactions. He did not speak to Mr Sayers about the returns.
"I believe they were sent to him but I am not sure," he said.
The trial continues today.