Deputy ATO commissioner resigns following fraud charges

atosDeputy Australian Tax Office (ATO) commissioner Michael Cranston has resigned after being formally charged in connection with a $130 million fraud.

Mr Cranston is not alleged to have known about the fraud, but is accused of using his position to help his son Adam Cranston, who is being investigated over the matter.

The deputy commissioner was earlier suspended, but has now chosen to resign, effective immediately. He is facing two abuse of power charges.

He is the 11th person to be charged in connection to the alleged syndicate

Most of the group were charged on May 17Michael Cranston was among the nation’s most senior public servants, rubbing shoulders with prime ministers as part of his role clamping down on tax avoidance.

The ABC understands he had been employed by the ATO for more than three decades and was involved in the organisation’s private groups and high-wealth segment.

Six of the 11 people charged in relation to the scheme — including Adam and Lauren Cranston — face a maximum of 10 years in prison if found guilty.

The arrests were the result of a joint ATO and Australian Federal Police investigation dating back to June 2016.

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