Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

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By edhat staff

A Montecito realtor and Australian native was sentenced to prison in her native country for evading taxes on luxury home sales.

Simone Semmens, also known as Simone Halstead, was sentenced to 34-months for unpaid taxes totaling $1.73 million to Australia's Commonwealth.

The 58-year-old former beauty queen and Australian television host was found guilty on 10 charges of dishonestly withholding tax payments owed earlier this year.  She was sent to a maximum-security women's prison to await sentencing and is expected to be released after serving 14 months. She was ordered to be of good behavior for two years after her release. 

Simone Halstead (Photo: Coldwell Bankers)

The judge presiding over the case stated her stubbornness is to blame for being in jail as well as her denial about money owed. “You remained stubborn and steadfast that you did not owe [generation-skipping tax] or tax at crucial times,” the judge said while sentencing her according to news.com.au. The judge additionally stated there were multiple times Semmens could have resolved this before trial.

Semmens has allegedly been working in the U.S. since 2014, specifically as a realtor for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Montecito. The real estate website lists Semmens' California license and contact information boasting her trustworthiness. 

The Australian Taxation Office said Semmens flipped 10 luxury properties, bringing in more than $20 million and a total profit of $4.4 million from 2005 to 2011, reports news.com.au.

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Flicka Dec 04, 2019 11:47 AM
Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

One of my gripes about Montecito realtors is they tell people any house in the 93108 ZIP is in Montecito (gets more money). Not true at all, all the Montecito houses are in 93108 but so are many not with in the confines of Montecito; always advertise houses on Hidden Valley Lane, Toro Canyon, and Torito Road and homes on the west side outside Montecito too as being in Montecito. Of course, if buyers go to sign their kids up for Montecito schools they will find out the hard way if they aren't in those school districts.

a-1575899426 Dec 04, 2019 01:05 PM
Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

Yes, this sort of thing must be really annoying. No manners in these sort of yokels. Just a bunch of crass slobs. Not like the real Montecito folk who earned their place in the real Montecito by acting with integrity and performing socially redeeming work. And they all had 969 telephone numbers back when that counted for something.

RHS Dec 04, 2019 08:48 AM
Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

Well in truth this case seems to capture all the bad indicia of social malfunction. A person judged by her "attractiveness" who exploits that shallow value to cater to others who are already living that life style in Montecito in a business that is heavily personality driven and allows shallow people an absurd income from fees that are barely earned by particular knowledge or training. In the end a pox on all their houses (pun). At least in Australia the government is still willing to run down these financial crimes. (The IRS has been gutted by conservative politicians so it cannot pursue such stuff here very much.)

Factotum Dec 04, 2019 11:39 AM
Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

Attractiveness is why so many demand to live in Santa Barbara instead of Oxnard - same weather, same ocean. Don't knock its value, or why it gets special privileges. All who chose Santa Barbara over Oxnard are guilty as well.

SBLetsGetAlong Dec 04, 2019 06:49 AM
Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

This country allows anyone to enter, oh wait, that’s only if you come across the Mexican border. They you go, tell her to come in from Mexico. Then she can come back to any sanctuary city and go back to work as usual. Or does that policy only apply to certain illegal immigrants?

a-1575899426 Dec 03, 2019 12:55 PM
Local Realtor Sentenced to Australian Prison for Tax Evasion

She sounds like one of those “never admit you’re wrong/you lied, no matter what” psychos. Nice to see one of them put away, for once. Not that anyone this pathological will ever learn their lesson.

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