How an alleged $165m tax fraud syndicate unravelled

Raid on the offices of Rommark in Double Bay.Property developer Michael Teplitsky is arrested by Federal Police Photo: Fairfax MediaOne of the largest tax fraud syndicates in the country’s history unravelled in spectacular fashion above the clothing boutiques and trendy cafes of Double Bay on Wednesday.


With his morning coffee in hand, property developer Boris Markovsky opened the door to his eastern suburbs office to more than a dozen Australian Federal Police wearing plain clothes and leather gloves.

Fairfax Media watched on as Rommark Corporation, run by Ukrainian-born developers Michael Teplitsky and Mr Markovsky, was turned upside down by officers who combed through piles of documents.

It was one of 28 properties across Sydney raided by 300 police as an extraordinary investigation into a $165 million tax fraud came to a head.

Mr Teplitsky and Mr Markovsky are not believed to be involved in the fraud syndicate but police allege some of the $165 million was laundered through Rommark through investments in property developments.

After initially inviting Fairfax Media in to talk about the raid, Mr Teplitsky exploded at a photographer who was documenting the raid, crash tackling him to the ground and ripping his shirt.

Mr Teplitsky’s new girlfriend, socialite Olivia Korner, pulled the hair of Fairfax’s reporter and screamed at officers to get off her boyfriend.

Six police officers tried to arrest Mr Teplitsky, struggling with him on the ground in front of horrified shoppers and workers in the quiet complex next door to the Intercontinental Hotel.

Another man threatened Fairfax Media outside the building, grabbing a mobile phone and saying, “You don’t want to mess with us”.

It’s understood police were also searching Rommark’s offices for information relating to Daniel Hausman, an associate of Mr Teplitsky’s who allegedly turned on the syndicate and tried to extort them for $5 million.

Elsewhere across Sydney, police raided several homes and businesses including the Bondi Beach unit of Adam Cranston, 30, son of Australian Taxation Office Deputy Commissioner Michael Cranston.

Adam was hauled out just after dawn, shirtless and in tracksuit pants. Properties in Vaucluse, Waterloo, Woollahra and Wahroonga were also raided.

Officers also paid a visit to Michael Cranston at his Menai home to advise him of his son’s arrest and serve him with a future court attendance notice for allegedly abusing his position in public office.

“Michael was in shock when we spoke to him,” AFP detective superintendent Kirsty Schofield said on Thursday.

Rommark advertises itself as Sydney’s “prestigious boutique developers” behind projects including The Gallery at Double Bay and Genoa of Bondi Junction.

Mr Teplitsky’s vast portfolio of developments includes the forthcoming 19-storey luxury 8Hotel on Wentworth Avenue in Surry Hills, and the century-old 100 Harris Street building in Pyrmont, occupied by Fairfax Media’s real estate site Domain.

The 48-year-old split from his wife earlier this year, not long after they bought “Aussie” John Symond’s Point Piper penthouse for $13.3 million.

On Wednesday, he was taken away in handcuffs to calm down and was later released without charge.

Nine people were charged with offences relating to the fraud syndicate. iFrameResize({resizedCallback : function(messageData){}},’#pez_iframeATO’);

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