Ministers savage fraud detection software founder.
The former chairman and co-founder of Macquarie-backed Australian cyber security and investigation software vendor Nuix, Anthony (Tony) Castagna, will spend at least four years in jail after being handed a seven-year prison term for a string of money laundering and tax evasion offences.
Appearing before Justice Christine Adamson on Friday, Castagna, 70 of Gordon, was sentenced alongside 68 year old Sydney man Robert Agius, who was also given a seven year jail term but will be eligible for parole in March 2021.
The two prison terms follow the conviction of the pair in April this year over a complex scheme that had money paid by Macquarie for consulting funneled through entities created in the South Pacific nation Vanuatu to dodge Australian tax liabilities.
The trials of the two men, who are cousins, have been a profound embarrassment for federal authorities who have been using Nuix for cyber investigations, complex data analysis and information governance.
Nuix’s clients are reported to have included the Australian Federal Police, Australian Taxation Office, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Defence as well as a swag of overseas security and intelligence-related customers.
Ironically, a specialty of Nuix is its dedicated fraud and corruption software product pitched at financial crimes that is says traces “human-generated data and communications, providing the insight and context you need to chase down company culprits.”
“ Get the whole story to stay out of the headlines,” the product page on Nuix’s website boasts.
That pitch wasn’t working for the ministers in charge of nailing fraudsters, cyber crooks and spies.
Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, certainly wasn’t handing out free product plugs, instead lauding the efforts of the Serious Financial Crimes Taskforce (SFCT) in busting the pair.