Businessman faces four charges of attempted cheating under Wage Credit Scheme

Chou Li Chen, 69, was charged with trying to cheat the Inland Revenue Department for payouts under the Wage Credit Scheme.
Chou Li Chen, 69, was charged with trying to cheat the Inland Revenue Department for payouts under the Wage Credit Scheme. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A businessman was charged on Wednesday (June 8) with trying to cheat the Inland Revenue Department (Iras) for payouts under the Wage Credit Scheme.

This is the first prosecution under the scheme which was introduced in 2013 as part of the transition support package.

Chou Li Chen, 69, allegedly deceived Iras into believing that he had received an increase in wage of $41,674 each from Interfam, Virtuality Art & Entertainment, Cap Investment and Assobuild in the calendar year 2013, which he knew was false.

He is thus said to have dishonestly induced Iras to deliver $16,670 to each of the four companies under the Wage Credit Scheme.

Chou, who is represented by Mr S. Radakrishnan, is a director of Assobuild and financial manager of the four companies.

The scheme was introduced in 2013 as a three-year scheme under which the Government co-funds 40 per cent of pay hikes given to Singaporean employees over 2013 to last year. It has been extended to next year at a lower co-funding level of 20 per cent.

Mr Radakrishnan told the court that he had just been engaged and needs to take full instructions and make representations.

If convicted, Chou can be jailed for up to five years and fined on each charge.

The case will be mentioned on July 7. His bail of $15,000 has been extended until then.