Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme fraud: Printing firm fined $5,000; penalised $50k

SINGAPORE - A printing firm, which made a false claim under a scheme that provides tax incentives for businesses to become more efficient, was on Tuesday fined $5,000 and ordered to pay a penalty of $48,704.40.

To boost a cash payout it was applying for under the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme, digital printing company Media Grafix inflated its qualifying expenditure in a 2012 application.

It claimed $27,058 had been spent to purchase "automation equipment" including computers and software.

Investigations showed, however, that the true figure was actually $21,150.

Media Grafix was set up in 2003. Its director, Mr Ong Chee Hui, 42, pleaded guilty on the firm's behalf on July 2. Offenders convicted of PIC fraud will have to pay a penalty of up to four times the amount of cash payout fraudulently obtained, as well as a fine of up to $50,000, and could be jailed for up to five years.

Media Grafix is the third firm to be prosecuted for abusing the PIC scheme, which was introduced in 2010.IT firm Greenit and manufacturer Exel Mitsui Technologies have also been penalised and fined for similar offences.

Their directors, who made the false claims, were jailed.