SINGAPORE - Eight Singaporeans were ordered in the State Courts on Friday (May 26) to pay a penalty of between $24,606 and $49,212 for making false Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) claims.
Of the eight, five were each ordered to pay a $49,212 penalty. They were also given the maximum $5,000 fine each.
Kavi Kumar Premkumar, 28, who owns K Creative, Priyalekshimi Balachandran, 30, who owns I-Rawkz Solutions for Kidz, Saravanan Darmalingam, 33, who is the sole director of VDMSS Engineering, Mageswary Ratnasamy, 36, who owns SK Super Store and Mahendran Rajoo, 37, who owns M Midhuna Event Management.
The other three implicated are:
Muniandy M Saker, 32, who owns Evolution Painters. He was fined $3,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of $49,212.
Shasthi Shamanan, 28, who owns Alan Workshop. The man, who was formerly known as Kunalan Ratnasamy, was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of $39,192.
Ang Kah Geok, 43, who owns Ssang Cleaning Services. He was ordered to pay a penalty of $24,606 but was not given a fine.
The PIC scheme, which is administered by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras), is meant to spur productivity by granting cash payouts and bonuses to businesses that incur a qualifying expenditure.
As part of the conditions, businesses must employ at least three local employees before they are eligible to apply for the PIC cash payouts. They must also incur business expenditures.
However, the companies in the current cases did not meet these conditions.
According to court documents, all eight people were recruited in the scam in 2013 and 2014 by sole proprietor of Paradize Consultancy S Chandran, 35, whose case is still pending.
The magician was charged in court on Jan 27 with multiple counts of helping others to fraudulently obtain PIC cash payouts and bonuses amounting to $1.1 million.
Chandran allegedly helped all eight people in the current cases to make false declarations in their PIC application forms.
Seven of them were successful and they each received $24,606 from Iras.
The court heard , as part of the arrangement, the seven people kept half of the money and gave the other half to Chandran.
Iras, however, found information in Priyalekshimi's application to be false. As a result, she did not receive a payout and a bonus.
But she was still hit with the penalty because if not for detection, she would have been given the claims.
An offender convicted of giving false information can be jailed up to three years and fined up to $5,000.
On top of this, he or she can also be ordered to pay a penalty of twice the amount of the cash payouts and bonuses.