Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Oz Hells Angels president Angelo Pandeli escapes tax fraud

The president of the Hells Angels, Angelo Pandeli, 46, touted as a major scalp in a tax crackdown on bikie gangs, has escaped without a conviction after his accountant took the blame for tax irregularities. Pandeli was charged with failing to furnish tax returns after he ignored a notice from the Australian Taxation Office to provide a detailed income statement.

The ATO and Australian Federal Police have targeted bikie gang members for tax evasion as part of a strategy to disrupt organized crime in Australia. A media release issued by the ATO and AFP in May said 200 outlaw motorcycle gang members had been targeted for tax evasion in a week-long operation. Pandeli was one of the highest-profile targets of the operation.

Pandeli's case ended in a fizzle. Mr Pandeli, who lives overseas for six to eight months of the year, pleaded guilty but his lawyer submitted an affidavit from his accountant who took responsibility for the irregularities.

Pandeli has long been in the sights of law enforcement. Following the death of Comanchero bikie Anthony Zervas​ during a brawl with rival gang the Hells Angels at Sydney Airport in 2009, Mr Pandeli's Pyrmont unit was raided. He was the president of one of two Sydney Hells Angels chapters at the time