Banned Chinese property developer Huang Xiangmo says he's a victim of "deep state-style" actions and rejects Australian Taxation Office claims he owes it $140 million.
The ATO is pursuing Mr Huang through the Federal Court over the massive liability linked to a property sale by one of his companies in Shenzhen, China, in 2014.
The bill includes $59.3 million in interest and penalties.
But according to a website in his name, Mr Huang says paying tax as required by law is a “fundamental tenet” for him and that the ATO is mistaken in its calculations and being guided by “dark forces”.
“The ATO is believed to be a professional government agency with some integrity,” he said in a statement published on huangxiangmo.com on Wednesday.
“But it really pains and saddens me that it has now surrendered itself to the pressure of some unknown dark forces, almost allowing itself to become a tool for political persecution against me.”
Mr Huang said he had no history of default or tax evasion.
He said the ATO wrongly treated a land-use fee paid to the Chinese government as part of his company’s income, counted that income as Mr Huang’s personal income and then treated the personal income as liable to Australian tax.
It defied common sense and smacked of desperation, he said.
“By taking advantage of its tax collection power for the purpose of political character assassination and persecution, the ATO has turned into a ‘political weapon’.”
Media, intelligence agencies, the immigration department and the ATO were collaborating to attack him with groundless allegations, Mr Huang claimed.
“Such concerted effort, with its magnitude across and beyond, would be unexplainable without the involvement of a ‘deep state’.”
He said his experience made him wonder whether those Australian politicians and media outlets banking on “telling tales about China and the Chinese” were any different from white supremacists or the McCarthyites.
Mr Huang has been implicated in several recent Australian political scandals.
His association with Sam Dastyari led to the Labor senator’s downfall and he remains a central figure in an anti-corruption commission inquiry over a $100,000 cash donation given to NSW Labor.
The property developer left for China in December 2018 amid the tax audit and was subsequently barred from re-entering Australia or obtaining a passport.
AAP contacted Mr Huang’s Australian lawyer, Tim Unsworth, several times seeking to confirm the Chinese developer was behind the newly-created website but he declined to comment.