R11m Sars ‘fraud gang’ in the dockComment on this story
A former SA Revenue Service employee has appeared in the Pretoria High Court on 2 265 charges which include racketeering, money laundering and fraud involving R11 million.
Sydney Moyo, 44, appeared on Monday with 17 other accused: Lucky Mthembu, 33, Jacob Kunene, 35, Moses Mnguni, 36, Maxwell Mkhonza, 33, Raymond Mogale, 37, Reuben Choma, 33, Paulus Jeli, 32, Jordaan Khumalo, 28, Andries Seoketso, 28, Nomsombuluko Moyo, 39, Petrus Bapela, 33, Gugulethu Mthembu, 27, Peter Mnisi, 31, Albert Mogale, 34, Richard Bopape, 32, Dumisani Nkonyane, 33, and Sello Mothogoane, 30.
The accused were expected to plead on Tuesday after Judge Mahomed Ismail asked the State to provide documents detailing the number of charges each of the 18 men faced.
Judge Ismail also warned some of the accused to be at court on time “or face the consequences”.
According to the indictment, Moyo worked as a messenger and petty cash administrator in the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) department, where he had full access to the IRP5 books, systems and Sars procedures.
Moyo allegedly recruited Lucky Mthembu, Kunene, Mnguni, Mkhonza, Jeli, his wife (Nomsombuluko Moyo), Gugulethu Mthembu and another person to participate in fraudulent activities for financial gain.
Moyo allegedly completed most of the initial fraudulent handwritten IRP5 certificates in the scheme.
The State alleges that Moyo approached members of the public and obtained copies of their identity documents under false pretences.
The information was used to compile the fraudulent income tax documents handed over to Sars.
The undue income tax refunds that were obtained were paid into a bank account, and the money was withdrawn on Moyo’s instructions.
It is alleged that the accused intercepted Sars refund cheques that were posted via secure mail, falsifying the signature of the “taxpayer” on the secure mail notification and using a member of the syndicate as an “authorised recipient”.
The Sars cheques were deposited into the “taxpayer’s” account and the money was withdrawn by and/or on instruction of a syndicate member.
The fraudulent income tax documents Moyo allegedly completed were linked to a number of post offices boxes he operated at the Tramshed and in Marshalltown, Joburg.
Mthembu allegedly assisted Moyo to prepare the fraudulent income tax registration and IRP5 certificates.
It is also alleged that he assisted Jeli in leasing a post box in Pretoria by completing the lease agreement.
The post box was used by the syndicate as a conduit for undue Sars income tax refunds.
The State alleges that Mthembu obtained a copy of the identity documents and bank account details of members of the public under false pretences.
He completed secure-mail notifications on undue income tax refund cheques.
Ngwenya was allegedly found in possession of computer hardware containing IRP5 templates similar to those used by the syndicate to generate the fraudulent electronic IRP5s.
* Accused Mothogoane was arrested in court on Monday on an unrelated matter.
Mothogoane was expected to appear in the Pretoria Regional Court on Tuesday on car theft charges.
The matter is proceeding.