File photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
DURBAN - A Durban woman was sentenced to an effective seven years in jail by the Durban Regional Court after she defrauded the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of more than R3.9million, it said yesterday.

Sars spokesperson Sandile Memela said Saraspathie Vallee, 47, of Chatsworth - a sole proprietor of the closed corporation Gutterpride Trading - was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to VAT fraud and contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

“Using Sars’ eFiling service, she claimed a VAT refund of R3972814 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 R2484683.75 was refunded to the entity,” Memela said.

According to the organisation, within a few days of the refund being paid to the closed corporation’s account, Vallee made numerous transfers from the account. Gutterpride was also sentenced to a R100000 fine, provisionally suspended for five years.

“As Sars’ risk engines improve, we will continue to bring VAT fraudsters to book, to rebuild trust in our organisation” Memela said. 

- African News Agency (ANA)