Durban pensioner jailed for seven years for R3.6m VAT fraud
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A Durban pensioner who pleaded guilty to defrauding the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has been jailed for seven years.
Kaniga Chetty, 60, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, totalling approximately R3.6m in the Durban Regional Court.
According to Natasha Kara, from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in KwaZulu-Natal, between July 2014 and April 2015 Chetty and another person entered into a scheme to defraud 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 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.”
Kara said 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,” concluded Kara.
In welcoming the sentence, the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal, advocate Elaine Zungu, said tax fraud was a serious offence and that the NPA would continue monitoring these cases.