Syndicate faces 2 200 charges in Sars fraud

2012-07-02 18:47

Pretoria - A syndicate accused of defrauding the SA Revenue Service (Sars) of more than R11m went on trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Monday.

The 18 alleged syndicate members, including three former Sars employees, face more than 2 200 charges of racketeering, money laundering, and fraud.

The State alleges former Sars employee Sydney Moyo, 44, of Soshanguve, had in the late 1990s devised a scheme to generate undue income tax refunds.

He allegedly recruited his wife Jane, who also worked for Sars, colleague Richard Bopape and other family members and friends.

Moyo worked as a messenger and petty cash administrator at Sars.

In 1995 he was transferred to the pay-as-you-earn department at his own request, where he had full access to the taxman's IRP5 books, systems and procedures.

The State alleges all of the accused, except Bopape, approached unemployed people in their communities and obtained a copy of their identity documents.

In most cases, the accused allegedly told people they could find them jobs, but needed a copy of their identity documents.

They then allegedly used their details to secretly register the unemployed people for income tax purposes, under the false pretence that they were earning salaries.

False tax returns and IRP5 certificates were then generated indicating that too much income tax had been deducted from each "taxpayer".

When a refund was authorised, a cheque was posted to post boxes leased or controlled by members of the syndicate.

In order to retrieve the cheques, the syndicate allegedly falsified the signature of the "taxpayer". A syndicate member then collected the cheque by claiming to be an "authorised recipient" acting on behalf of the "taxpayer".

One of the accused, Lucky Richard Mthembu, 33, was allegedly found in possession of computer hardware containing IRP5 templates.

The scheme allegedly ran for over six years before Sars became suspicious that so many people used the same post office box numbers.

The State on Monday began reading out the charges to the accused, which took a considerable amount of time as each charge had to be translated into three different languages.

Judge Mahomed Ismail turned down an application for transcripts of the trial record to be made available on a daily basis, in case some of the defence lawyers were not present in court, or had to withdraw from the trial.

The judge said his ruling should serve as a safeguard against lawyers being absent from court.

"I don't believe in rewarding bad students," he said.

The trial continues.

  • Bulls - 2012-07-02 19:15

    moer hulle

      Christelle - 2012-07-02 19:20

      Bit of sense there from you Bull:-)Jy sien, as jy Afrikaans praat kom daar sommer automaties sense by jou mond uit -LOL

      Bulls - 2012-07-02 20:42

      I can only read, summer tomatoes? sommer automaties,cristelle sorry...

      Christelle - 2012-07-02 20:53


  • christel.ritchie - 2012-07-02 19:20

    It is unbelievable that the criminally minded people in this country do not think about the damage they do to their beloved South Africa and to the image they portray to the world out there.Let them rot in hell.Well donn to those that caught them.

      Hugh - 2012-07-03 08:06

      Having worked against such people I can tell you that they have huge potential however being inherently lazy they dream up short cuts or crooked ways at the blink of an eye. Ever watched as they walk past cars or gardens. The head and eyes swivel side taking in very detail. In seconds they will whip whatever from under your nose. This is not to feed themselves or others but it is easier than working for X hours, day, oor months to be paid the same. Plain greed.

      siliziwe.mafika - 2012-07-03 08:57

      couldn't really care... because the money will be recovered and it will go straight into the hands of the government, who will in turn spend it in a way all of us know how

  • hendrikvs - 2012-07-02 19:20

    No shortage of innovation when looking for a way to enrich themselves. Easily explained as they have supermodel smart teachers in all the government departments.

      Christelle - 2012-07-02 19:24

      Pity same amount of innovation is not displayed in the right areas...

  • Andre - 2012-07-02 19:21

    These guys are giving the word "corruption" a new meaning!

  • Francois - 2012-07-02 19:25

    It took SARS 6 Years to find this out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How many other people got away with it and stopped before SARS caught on??

      mefi.boset.56 - 2012-07-02 19:38


  • Comfido Nziyane - 2012-07-02 19:29

    its all because of the root of all evil.

  • Christi Vaughn Roestorff - 2012-07-02 19:36

    So SARS don't verify if tax is actually paid first before refunding the money! Who's auditing the taxman???

  • ditoare.gypsy - 2012-07-02 19:37

    Huh the MOYO surname is of a bad blood, next time my son is telling me he's dating a Moyo girl I will shoot him

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-07-02 20:05

    So SARS took 6 years to catch out a messenger?

  • frans.vanderpoll - 2012-07-02 20:12

    Let's give them their due - they are an innovative bunch of criminals. I think this is only the tip of the iceberg.

  • lindela.e.mtshali - 2012-07-02 20:29

    A messenger? Six years to catch him? What about the smart guys in IT?

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-07-02 21:52

    Bad apples everywhere!!

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-07-02 22:14

    Mefi for president.

  • Tommo - 2012-07-03 00:28

    We need to start at the beginning. Get everyone out and start again. Can someone turn the clock back to 1994,please...

  • kevin.kramer111 - 2012-07-03 09:13

    Ummm..why are they being charged..? Zooma & his family/cadres do this all the time...?

  • comurray - 2012-07-03 09:52

    Just greed, greed and more greed.They obviously have extremely well educated teachers in the government departments.

  • mart.botha - 2012-07-03 10:28

    Why do we tolerate those that steal from our children ?

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