Tax service agent sentenced for stealing returns

2016-09-22 22:21

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Cape Town - A former tax service agent employed by SARS was sentenced to four years imprisonment by the Bellville Regional Court on Thursday, for stealing the returns of four taxpayers.

Bernard Hendricks, 36, was convicted on four counts of fraud in 2014, National Prosecuting Authority provincial spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said.

He committed the crimes while employed by the revenue service in 2010.

“He assisted four taxpayers who phoned in and inquired about their personal income tax. The accused asked them for their personal income tax information, which allowed him to access their profiles on the SARS computer system,” he explained.

“In all four instances the taxpayers who called him only wanted to inquire about the status of their 2010 income tax returns and assessments.”

Ntabazalila said Hendricks used a colleague’s SARS password and pin to access the callers’ profiles. He then changed their banking details and cellphone numbers to his own.

“In all four instances SARS then deposited the tax refunds into the bank account of the accused while being under the impression that it was the bank account of the taxpayer. In this manner the accused managed to obtain an amount of R50 873, which he withdrew from the account immediately after the deposits were made.”

When the fraud was discovered, he was fired and criminal charges were instituted.


Read more on:    sars  |  cape town  |  fraud

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