ATO official quits after facing NSW court

Jodie Stephens
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ATO official quits after facing NSW court

Senior tax official Michael Cranston has resigned after facing a NSW court over an unprecedented white-collar fraud scandal linked to his son and daughter.

Hours after Cranston appeared in Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday, the Australian Taxation Office said he'd quit as a deputy commissioner.

The 58-year-old was issued with a court attendance notice last month on two charges of abusing public office to gain an advantage.

Police in May said he may have unwittingly been implicated in an alleged $130 million tax-evasion racket at the request of his 30-year-old son, Adam Cranston, who was charged with conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth.

Cranston is accused of obtaining information and exercising his influence as a Commonwealth public official between February and May 2017 for the benefit of his son, according to court documents.

Cranston's 24-year-old daughter Lauren Cranston was also charged with conspiring to cause loss and dealing in the proceeds of crime, and she faced court with her father on Tuesday.

Her barrister told the court she is due to give birth in July.

It's alleged the group accepted legitimate payroll claims through a company called Plutus Payroll and funnelled them through second-tier companies to disguise massive amounts of tax being withheld from the ATO.

The money was allegedly spent on lavish lifestyles including properties, cars, jewellery and wine.

Cranston, his daughter and another man charged in relation to the alleged fraud, Daniel Simon Hausman, are next scheduled to have their matters heard in court on August 29.