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8 charged over tax credit scam

July 25, 2006 6:31pm
The Office of the Ombudsman filed on Tuesday criminal raps against four former Finance officials and four transport firm executives in connection with the questionable issuance of P13.9 billion worth of tax credit certificates in 2003.

Charged were former Finance undersecretary Antonio Belicena in his capacity as former executive director of the One-Stop Shop Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center, deputy executive director Uldarico Andutan, Center Net Local Content Division officer-in-charge Raul de Vera and senior tax specialist Brandy Marzan.

Indicted as private defendants were Land Car Inc (LCI) president Orlando Cachuela, LCI consultant Arturo Susmira, Juaymah-Maureen Transport Services general manager Elenita Mababangloob and Joseph Cabotaje, employee.

All were charged with two counts of graft and two counts of estafa each. Bail was set at P40,000 for each criminal offense.

Prosecutors claimed P5.5 million tax credit was approved in favor of LCI based on alleged spurious and overpriced sales invoices for 11 bus units of which P1.5 million was already drawn by the firm.

Graft investigators found ‘fraudulent entries’ in several documents submitted by LCI in support of its claim for tax incentives including delivery receipts, motor vehicle registration receipts, certificates of registration and claimant information sheet.

In the case of the Juaymah bus company, prosecutors said the firm’s claimant information sheet and evaluation report contained ‘fraudulent representation’ which should have disqualified it from tax incentives.

Still, they noted that the accused finance officials approved P9.17 million worth of tax credit certificates for the bus company of which P746,867.70 were already used before the balance of P8.42 million was dishonored by the Department of Finance. - GMANews.TV