Wheatley Appeals Jail

Talent manager Glenn Wheatley has filed to appeal the severity of his jail sentence for tax evasion.

An Australian court sentenced him July 19th to 15 months in jail. He had avoided paying $318,092 in tax by sending part of his earnings as a promoter of a boxing bout between Australia’s Kostya Tszyu and the United States’ Jesse James Leijain 2003 to a fake offshore company, and failed to pay tax on income earned from his star client John Farnham’s Talk of the Town tour in 1994.

When his offices were raided last year, Wheatley promised to give evidence against others in the tax avoidance scheme if he avoided jail time.

The Director of Public Prosecutions initially agreed, but shifted its position when the DPP was attacked for not pursuing jail for insider trading by businessman and former TV host Steve Vizard.

Wheatley had told close friends he was expecting some jail time, but not for as long as was handed down. Members of the law fraternity were adamant that the severity of his sentence was due to his high profile.

Wheatley has been a public figure in Australia since 1968, when he joined one of the country’s biggest rock bands, The Masters Apprentices, as its bassist. When the act had management problems, he took over their business affairs, learning as he went. In the late 1970s, he helped put together the little River Band, which had nine Top 10 hits in America and sold 25 million albums worldwide.

He went on to manage John Farnham, Delta Goodrem, Kate Ceberano and Australian Crawl, among others, and took on some sports clients.

He raised $10 million in charity through the years, and was involved in grassroots organisations including Ausmusic, which mentored young managers and musicians.