CAPE TOWN- An Eastern Cape shop manager has been convicted of numerous charges of tax fraud in the Gqeberha Specialised Commercial Crime Court.
In a statement released on Wednesday, provincial spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said Goolam Musa, 71, a member of Al-Barakah Close Corporation (CC), which operates as a fruit and vegetable shop, committed 12 fraudulent VAT contribution returns to the South African Revenue Service (Sars) and was sentenced on Tuesday.
She said it was reported to the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team that during the period of August 1, 2012, and July 31, 2016, Goolam and his son Rushad Musa, 43, were purported to have been in business with Kwik-Pack Packing Distributors and Ampoly Plastic CC, which they never were.
The fraudulent invoices claimed by Al-Barakah for expenses incurred from the two service providers entitled the corporation to a tax refund worth more than R1.2 million (about US$88,500).
Mgolodela said random selection led to the corporation being subjected to a special audit and that was when fraudulent activities were suspected, prompting Sars to reach out to the Hawks.
Goolam and his son were arrested, while their entity was also charged on July 29, 2020.
The pair were released on warning once charged.
Goolam’s son was acquitted. However, Goolam was sentenced to pay a fine of R100,000 in default of which he might be liable to three years’ imprisonment.
He was also sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years provided he is not convicted of fraud, theft or forgery during this period.
Goolam has also been ordered by the court to compensate Sars for its loss over the period of 58 months.
The corporation was fined R200,000, suspended for five years on condition it is not found guilty of fraud, forgery or theft during the suspension period.