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7-Year Sentence for SARS Fraudster

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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has welcomed the seven-year sentence recently imposed on a KwaZulu-Natal woman convicted of defrauding the revenue collector of approximately R4 million.

On Thursday last week, the Durban Regional Court sentenced Saraspathie Vallee (47) after pleading guilty to Value Added Tax fraud and contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. The Chatsworth woman was the sole proprietor of closed corporation Gutterpride Trading.

In a statement, the revenue collector said Vallee, using the SARS’ eFiling service, claimed a VAT refund to the value of R3 972 814 on behalf of Gutterpride for a single tax period in 2014 and SARS was supplied with falsified supporting documents to substantiate the claim.

“SARS reduced the refund and after outstanding taxes were liquidated, an amount of R2 484 683.75 was refunded to the entity.

“Within a few days of the refund being paid in the closed corporation’s account, Vallee made numerous transfers from the account.”

Vallee pleaded guilty to the two charges in terms of Section 112(1)(a) of the Criminal procedures Act. The entity, Gutterpride, was also sentenced to a R100 000 fine, provisionally suspended for five years.

“As SARS’ risk engines continuously improve, we will continue to bring VAT fraudsters to book, to rebuild trust in our organisation, create a fair playing field for businesses and support our mandate of collecting money that is due to the State,” said the revenue collector. – SAnews.gov.za