The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) is a multi-agency taskforce targeting serious financial crime in Australia.
The taskforce is led by the Australian Taxation Office and brings together the knowledge, resources and experiences of federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies to identify and address serious and complex financial crimes. The taskforce includes:
- Australian Tax Office
- Australian Federal Police
- Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
- Attorney-General's Department
- Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
- Department of Home Affairs, incorporating its operational arm, the Australian Border Force
- Services Australia.
The Serious Financial Crime Taskforce started operation on 1 July 2015. From this date until 31 August 2020, the Taskforce has progressed cases that have resulted in:
- completion of 1,253 audits and reviews
- conviction and sentencing of 11 people
- raised liabilities of $971 million
- collected $374 million.
While Project Wickenby focused on tackling offshore tax evasion and crime, the SFCT has a broader remit to target the most serious financial crimes. The current priorities include technology enabled tax crime (cybercrime), offshore tax evasion and illegal phoenix activity. Illegal phoenix activity involves a company deliberately liquidating assets to avoid paying creditors, taxes and employee entitlements.
The SFCT focuses on operational activities, collecting and sharing intelligence, and identifying reform measures with the aim of removing wealth from criminal activity, prosecuting facilitators and promoters of serious financial crime and deploying deterrent and preventative enforcement strategies.
More details about the SFCT are on the ATO website