A businessman who pocketed over $1.5 million in employee taxes from the Canterbury rebuild has been jailed for three years and four months.
Libor Lasek, 47, was sentenced on 44 charges relating to building service companies at the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday after failing to pay $1,517,293 of his employees' tax deductions to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
Over a four year period, he failed to pass on PAYE, KiwiSaver, child support, superannuation and student loan payments.
The five companies involved in the offending - Libor Interiors Ltd, Libor Living Ltd, Libor Ltd, L Group Ltd and Canterbury Joinery - have all been placed in liquidation.
In total, they owe more than $2.6 million to Inland Revenue and other creditors.
The total tax that remained unpaid across all companies after late payments and credit transfers was $1,371,673, and is unlikely to be recovered.
IRD spokesman Tony Morris says Lasek showed a degree of contempt for the tax system, as his offending continued nearly three years after he was initially warned of the consequences.
"Lasek was given multiple opportunities to put this situation right and entered into several instalment arrangements to clear the arrears," Mr Morris explained.
"Ultimately he never followed through, and clearly decided that meeting his tax obligations was not a priority."