Magician accused of tax scam fails to turn up in court, prosecution calls it 'disappearing act'
SINGAPORE — A magician who is on trial for making fraudulent claims to the taxman failed to turn up for his scheduled court hearing on Tuesday (8 October), prompting the prosecution to call his absence “a disappearing act”.
The Singaporean was first charged in January 2017 with defrauding IRAS. He is accused of running a business, Paradize Consultancy, which purportedly helped businesses to obtain grants from IRAS under the PIC scheme. Under the scheme, qualified firms can obtain tax deductions on specific expenditure incurred, such as for IT equipment. Firms can convert up to $100,000 of such expenditure each year into a cash payout from IRAS.
After Chandran failed to show up in court on Tuesday morning, proceedings were stood down to 2.30pm. However, the magician still did not show up as scheduled.
District Judge Kessler Soh then adjourned proceedings and ordered to have Chandran attend court on Wednesday morning.
On 17 April, Chandran returned to retract his guilty plea. He told the court that he had admitted himself into the Institute of Mental Health to seek medical treatment. His psychiatric condition was not revealed to the court.
The discrepancy prompted DPP Sanjiv to state that Chandran had copied his slides, which were identical to online materials credited to different authors.
Chandran had taken steps to coach the claimants in answering queries posed by IRAS during claim assessment, the prosecution said. Chandran also concocted standard answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” in the event that the claimants were audited by IRAS.Read more: Yahoo Singapore
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