KZN VAT vendor imprisoned for seven years for VAT fraud

Pretoria, 12 March 2019 - A KwaZulu-Natal woman who defrauded SARS of approximately R 4 million, was handed down an effective seven-year jail sentence in the Durban Regional Court last Thursday.
Ms Saraspathie Vallee (47) of Chatsworth, as sole proprietor of the closed corporation Gutterpride Trading, pleaded guilty to Value Added Tax fraud and contraventions of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.
Using SARS’ eFiling service, she 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 R100 000 fine, provisionally suspended for five years.
AS SARS’ risk engines continuously improves, 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.
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