"Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan has reportedly settled a longrunning dispute over unpaid taxes, but not before labeling those investigating his financial affairs as "A-holes."
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) was chasing Hogan and artistic collaborator John Cornell for over $150 million in alleged unpaid taxes and penalties dating from the 1980s.
The ATO had also alleged that he used offshore tax havens, Australia's ABC News reported.
The pair were the highest profile targets of Operation Wickenby, a nationwide, multimillion-dollar fraud probe launched by the ATO in 2004.
The Nine Network cited a statement issued by a lawyer for Hogan and Cornell on Monday night as saying:
"Paul Hogan and John Cornell are pleased to advise that following a mediation before ex High Court Judge, the Honourable Michael McHugh AC QC, they and their related entities have reached a settlement with the Commissioner of Taxation."
The agreement was reached on a "without admission" basis, the statement said.
As part of the settlement, the ATO lifted a travel ban issued against him, the statement said.
Hogan was famously prevented from leaving Australia in 2010 by the ATO over the affair.
Late last year, he said he was being made a scapegoat for the sake of the ATO's image, the Australian Associated Press reported.
"If they can crucify me, that'll show they're still in power, you still should be terrified of the tax office, and they didn't waste all those millions," Hogan said.
"They have unlimited resources, so you spend a million, they'll spend 10 and they don't care how much of it they spend, they'll spend $20 million to nail someone for two, because they've got to keep that image of the undefeatable tax department up."
When asked about the tax office in an interveiw with Sydney's Macquarie Radio station late last year — cited by AAP — he reportedly said simply, "A-holes."
"I had no problem with Australia, I had a problem with a handful of bureaucrats in the tax office who were determined to put me in my place," he said.
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