The Durban Regional Court has sentenced Durban pensioner Kaniga Chetty, 60, to seven years in jail after he pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud against SARS, totalling approximately R3.6 million.

National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Natasha Kara said that between July 2014 and April 2015, Chetty and another person had entered into a scheme to defraud the South African Revenue Service (SARS) by submitting fraudulent VAT claims under the name of Chetty’s dormant company, Targatrix (Pty) Ltd. Four returns were submitted claiming the refunds.

“Chetty was arrested after the SARS detected fraud when conducting a comprehensive VAT audit on the company,” Kara said.

Senior State Advocate, Selvan Govender told the court that tax fraud was a prevalent offence that affected society directly. He added that Chetty was in retirement and there was no need for him to involve himself in activities of this nature.

The court took all four counts as one and Chetty was sentenced accordingly. The presiding officer deviated from the minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment, citing Chetty’s age, medical condition and guilty plea as compelling reasons for the deviation.

The NPA welcomed the successful prosecution. 

The Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, Advocate Elaine Zungu said: “Tax fraud is indeed a serious offence. Taxes collected by the SARS is used by government to finance its infrastructural, economic and social objectives. The NPA will continue to monitor these cases.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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