Man on trial for helping firms claim $1.1m falsely

S. Chandran is accused of aiding claimants to fraudulently get money from a government scheme.
S. Chandran is accused of aiding claimants to fraudulently get money from a government scheme.

A man went on trial yesterday for helping businesses make false claims for cash payouts and bonuses totalling $1.1 million under a government scheme.

S. Chandran faces 58 charges under the Income Tax Act for helping 49 claimants to fraudulently obtain the money in Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) cash payouts and bonuses.

Chandran, the 37-year-old owner of Paradize Consultancy, is accused of committing the offences between June 2013 and November 2014. So far, 19 claimants, including his wife A.K. Sahtyah, have been charged in the past year under the Income Tax Act.

Yesterday, prosecutors proceeded with three charges against Chandran.

He is said to have helped three claimants obtain cash payouts and bonuses totalling $73,818 between April 1 and April 30, 2014. He was accused of falsely representing that each of the claimants had met the PIC scheme's condition of employing three locals.

The claimants are Mr Mahendran Rajoo, owner of M Midhuna Event Management, Ms Shanti R. Peerisamy, owner of Sharmila Event Management, and Ms Crystal Priya of Estrella Eventz.

"This is a case of fraud committed against the state on a large scale," Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani said.

The PIC scheme is meant for businesses that have made genuine investments to enhance productivity and innovation.

But there have been claimants who have made false claims. Typically in such cases, the claimants will enter into arrangements with vendors to give the impression that they have incurred the expenditures on which their claims are based. They may also submit the names and particulars of persons who are not their employees to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) to show that they have met the scheme's condition of employing three locals.

DPP Vaswani said that Chandran had also taken steps to coach the claimants on how to respond to queries by Iras so that these claims would be approved. The trial continues today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2018, with the headline 'Man on trial for helping firms claim $1.1m falsely'. Print Edition | Subscribe