Paul Hogan, the star of the Crocodile Dundee movies, has settled his long-running battle with the Australian tax authorities.
The eight-year-long dispute involved approximately $150 million that Australian tax authorities said Hogan and his producer and friend John Cornell owed.
The government had accused Hogan’s accountant and Crocodile Dundee collaborator of participating in offshore tax havens during a fraud probe in 2004 known as Operation Wickenby, but all denied any wrongdoing. They claimed confidentiality under Australia’s “accountants’ concession” guidelines over the financial documents that had been seized from Hogan’s accountants by tax authorities, similar to the work paper privileges in the U.S. Tax authorities were demanding unpaid taxes owing from June 1987 to June 1991, and June 1994 to June 2005.
In 2010, during a visit to his native country to attend his 101-year-old mother’s funeral, the Australian Tax Office barred Hogan from leaving the country for two weeks to return to his family in California (see Crocodile Dundee Star Held by Aussie Tax Officials). He was only allowed to leave, he told reporters at the time, “because of all the bad publicity around the world.”
Hogan and Cornell released a statement through their attorney on Monday evening, saying that the settlement had been reached on a “without admission” basis. “Paul Hogan and John Cornell are pleased to advise that following a mediation before ex High Court Judge, the Honorable Michael McHugh AC QC, they and their related entities have reached a settlement with the Commissioner of Taxation," the statement said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The terms of the settlement were confidential, but as part of it, the departure prohibition order issued against Hogan has been revoked by the tax office commissioner.
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