The multi-agency Serious Financial Crime Taskforce (SFCT) forms part of the Fraud and Anti-Corruption Centre led by the Australian Federal Police.
The SFCT brings together the knowledge, resources and experiences of federal law enforcement and regulatory agencies to identify and address serious and complex financial crimes. It includes the:
- Australian Federal Police
- Australian Taxation Office
- Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
- Attorney-General's Department
- Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission
- Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions
- Australian Border Force.
The SFCT builds on the success of Project Wickenby, which finished on 30 June 2015 when the SFCT began operating, and resulted in the conviction and sentencing of 46 individuals and the recovery of more than $2 billion in outstanding revenue. This included more than $49 million in cash collections, $372 million from increased voluntary compliance and $5 million in assets recovered under Commonwealth Proceeds of Crime provisions.
While Project Wickenby focused on tackling offshore tax evasion and crime, the SFCT has a broader remit to target the highest priority of serious financial crimes. These priorities include international tax evasion and criminality related to fraudulent phoenix activity, trusts and superannuation. Phoenix fraud 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.