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GST fraud mastermind jailed 15 months, fined S$1.2m

Jail for a man who ran an elaborate GST fraud scheme involving 10 different entities, and who illegally claimed close to S$1 million in GST refunds. 

SINGAPORE: A mastermind of an elaborate Goods and Services Tax (GST) fraud scheme, who illegally claimed some S$953,000 in GST refunds has been sentenced to 15 months' jail. A court also fined Eric Chia Puay Yeoh S$1.2 million on Thursday (July 10).

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) said in a news release that this is the first GST fraud case involving 10 different entities.

Chia faced 122 charges and pleaded guilty to 45. The remaining 77 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The 50-year-old's elaborate scheme started in January 2005, under Kapin Enterprise, a business registered under his wife's name. For two years, he inflated its GST returns by over S$217,000 without her knowledge.

He continued to cook up GST refund claims for three other companies he owned - Keat Siang Hang, World Resources Organisation and Shi Lin Enterprise.

Chia also helped three others - Foo Tee Suan, Ivan Tan Suan Chew and Sng Kay Heng to obtain inflated and fictitious GST refunds. Some of the companies involved were shell companies and had no business transactions.

IRAS says it takes a serious view of tax criminals who defraud the state. Offenders who claim input tax on fictitious purchases or who understate output tax on sales face a penalty of up to three times the amount of tax undercharged, and up to seven years' jail.

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