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VAT Cheat Jail Term Stands

Fiji Court of Appeal upholds High Court conviction of Manoj Khera The Fiji Court of Appeal on January 18, 2016 confirmed the conviction and sentence of Manoj Khera from an
23 Jan 2016 11:14
VAT Cheat Jail Term Stands
Court

Fiji Court of Appeal upholds High Court conviction of Manoj Khera

The Fiji Court of Appeal on January 18, 2016 confirmed the conviction and sentence of Manoj Khera from an appeal of the decision of the High Court.

Khera was convicted on four counts of false pretences and one count of money laundering.

He was sentenced to two years imprisonment on each count of false pretences and four years on one count of money laundering, to be served concurrently.

The total sentence was four years with a non-parole period of three years.

Khera was found to have falsified four invoices between January to April 2004 in order to inflate VAT in its input column.

By doing so Khera falsely obtained $44,611.82 in VAT refunds from FRCA which he was not entitled to.

“The conviction and sentence of Khera for four years for falsifying invoice to inflate and overclaim VAT refunds from FRCA, is a reminder to all taxpayers that falsifying VAT declarations or tax returns is a criminal offence.

“Simply repaying the over-claimed VAT refunds or paying taxes for under-declared income (restitution), after being caught by FRCA does not avoid a criminal conviction and sentence,” FRCA acting CEO Visvanath Das said.

“The Court of Appeal decision must act as a reminder to all taxpayers that their tax responsibilities must not be evaded through dubious and fraudulent means. FRCA and its taxpayers are in a relationship of trust,” Mr Das said.

“The taxpayers must not breach that trust. It is also not fair that some taxpayers are compliant and always pay their taxes and VAT in an accurate and timely manner; whilst others are always findings ways and scheming to cheat. FRCA will go after the cheaters,”

He added that, “after all the tax amnesties given by our Government over the past years, taxpayers should not have any excuses going forward in discharging their tax responsibilities honourably and with a clean slate.

“To make further examples of the consequences of defrauding tax responsibilities, FRCA will be working with prosecution to press criminal charges against VAT and tax cheaters.”

Source: Fiji Revenue & Customs Authority

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