Glenn Wheatley, CEO and founder of Melbourne-based talent management and concert/sports promotions company Talentworks, indicated in court today (Feb. 1) that he will plead guilty to tax evasion.
Wheatley, best known for his role as manager of veteran Sony BMG recording artist John Farnham, is the first high-profile scalp of the A$30 million ($23.1 million) Operation Wickenby. The operation is a joint investigation by the Australian Crime Commission and the Australian Tax Office, targeting Australians who use offshore havens to minimize or avoid paying tax.
Wheatley appeared in the Victorian County Court before chief judge Michael Rozenes. He could not be arraigned because the indictment had yet to be filed with the court.
Wheatley was told to return July 2 to face a pre-sentencing hearing. The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has confirmed charges are related to an investigation into illegal offshore tax and money-laundering schemes.
Wheatley, the one-time bassist with ’60s hit band the Masters Apprentices, went on to become a talent manager for such domestic acts as Farnham, Little River Band, Delta Goodrem, Real Life and Australian Crawl, each who whom had varying international success. He currently looks after actress/singer Stephanie Macintosh and guitar band the Sparrows. Talentworks also has interests in boxing events and sports/entertainment venues.