It was reported in the IRAS’ website on 10 July 2014 that Eric Chia Puay Yeoh (“Chia”) who was the mastermind behind a complex GST scam, was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Investigation revealed that he colluded with his accomplices to defraud the Comptroller of GST of GST refunds totally $953,000 from Jan 2005 to Mar 2007.
Chia’s elaborate scheme to commit GST tax fraud first began in Jan 2005 under Kapin Enterprise – a sole-proprietorship business registered under his wife’s name. For two years, he inflated the GST refund claims in Kapin’s GST returns by $217,157.62 without his wife’s knowledge.
His dishonest acts continued with companies which he owned – Keat Siang Hang Pte Ltd (KSH), World Resources Organisation Pte Ltd (WRO) and Shi Lin Enterprise Pte Ltd. Figures were cooked to make up fictitious GST refund claims of $95,000 and $33,000 for KSH and WRO respectively, while GST refund claims for Shi Lin were inflated by $82,000.
Chia also assisted 3 of his accomplices to obtain inflated and fictitious GST refunds. He suggested to Foo Tee Suan (“Foo”) to register FTH Enterprise (FTH) – an export business – for GST. He wilfully with intent assisted Foo to make fictitious claims in his GST returns from Jul 2005 to Mar 2007. Thereafter, Chia helped Foo to set up three other businesses, namely F&T Top System Enterprise (F&T), Hwa Rong Enterprise Pte Ltd (HREPL), and Hwa Rong Import & Export (HRIE). These were all shell companies without any business transactions.
To illegally obtain GST refunds, Chia declared fictitious figures in the GST returns of FTH, F&T, HREPL and HRIE and fraudulently claimed a total of $458,000 in GST refunds from Jul 2005 to Mar 2007.
Separately, Chia with wilful intent assisted another accomplice, Ivan Tan Suan Chew, a director of ENV Recycle Trading Pte Ltd (ENV), to make fictitious GST declarations and illegally obtained $35,000 in GST refunds from Jul 2005 to Nov 2005.
Chia also with wilful intent assisted Sng Kay Heng (“Sng”), the sole proprietor of Strikey Trading (a dormant business), to falsify his documents to make fraudulent claims in his GST returns for the business. Purchases and sales invoices originally issued to Kapin Enterprise were altered by Chia to reflect the name of Strikey Trading. Fictitious GST refund claims of $31,000 were then made by Strikey Trading from Nov 2005 to Jan 2006.
What does this mean to you?
IRAS takes a serious view of tax criminals and will take stern action against those guilty of defrauding the Comptroller of GST. It is a serious offence to claim input tax on fictitious purchases or to understate output tax on sales. Offenders face a penalty of three times the amount of tax undercharged, a fine not exceeding $10,000, and/or imprisonment of up to 7 years.
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