Man guilty of fraud

2019-05-01 06:00

A seven-year sentence has been handed down by the Bloemfontein Commercial Crime Court to a Dewetsdorp businessman for fraud in­volving millions.

The court found Emile Scholtz guilty of defrauding the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of R3,6 million in 2014.

He was sentenced on 11 April.

Magistrate Rasheed Matthews sentenced Scholtz to seven years’s direct imprisonment after the court had found him guilty on two counts of tax evasion.

Phaladi Shuping, spokes­person for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), said investigation revealed that in April and May 2014, Scholtz had submitted fraudulent VAT returns, claiming false refunds of R3 080 000 and R288 000, respectively. He said Sars paid the accused about R3 368 000 in total.

Scholtz was subjected to investigation after failing to provide supporting documents for claims made to Sars’ audit department.

Shuping said after Sars had paid the refunds, the account of the accused was audited, and the audit department requested Sholtz to provide supporting documents for his claims made for a business of breeding horses and trading as Waterfall Hoenders.

Shuping said the accused had failed to submit the supporting documents and the matter was referred to the Sars Investigative Unit. He said no horses were found on inspection at Scholtz’s business property.

Shuping said the accused then paid back only R600 000, and his legal representative requested he be given a chance to repay the balance of R2,8 million over a period of five years.

However, the state prosecutor, Adv. Dickson Sampisi, requested the court to impose direct imprisonment because a suspended sentence would send out the message that people can defraud Sars and then make a request to repay the money once their criminal activities have been picked up by the law enforcement.

Matthews stated that by agreeing to Scholtz’s request for a suspended sentence it would appear he had received an unlawful loan from Sars and is being given five years in which to pay it back.

He sentenced Scholtz to five years on the first count of tax evasion and two years on the second count.

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