KZN woman jailed for defrauding Sars of R3.9m

Durban – A KwaZulu-Natal woman was sentenced to an effective seven-years in jail by the Durban Regional Court after she defrauded the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of more than R3.9 million, the revenue service said on Tuesday.

Sars spokesperson, Sandile Memela said Saraspathie Vallee, 47, of Chatsworth – a sole proprietor of the closed corporation Gutterpride Trading – was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to value-added tax (VAT) fraud and contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

“Using Sars’ eFiling service, she claimed a VAT refund to the value of R3 972 814 on behalf of Gutterpride for a single tax period in 2014 and Sars was supplied with falsified supporting documents to substantiate the claim,” Memela said. 

“Sars reduced the refund and after outstanding taxes were liquidated an amount of R2 484 683.75 was refunded to the entity.”

 According to the organisation, within a few days of the refund being paid in the closed corporation’s account, Vallee made numerous transfers from the account.

The entity, Gutterpride was also sentenced to R100 000 fine, provisionally suspended for five years.

“As Sars’ risk engines continuously improve, we will continue to bring VAT fraudsters to book, to rebuild trust in our organisation, create a fair playing field for businesses, and support our mandate of collecting money that is due to the state,” Memela said.

African News Agency/ANA

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