Magician who helped others trick Iras of over $73,800 jailed and fined
Magician S. Chandran was yesterday sentenced to three years’ jail and ordered to pay a penalty of $295,272 for causing a government agency to disburse $73,818 in public funds to individuals who made bogus claims.
He will spend an additional 30 weeks behind bars if he is unable to pay the amount.
The Singaporean was found guilty last July of three counts of helping three individuals make fraudulent claims under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme, an Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) initiative meant to boost productivity.
The 40-year-old, whom the prosecutors described as the mastermind behind the ruse, still has 55 other charges against him. These will be dealt with at a later date.
The PIC scheme had offered tax deductions or cash payouts to companies that made genuine investments to enhance productivity and innovation, such as by investing in staff training, information technology or automation equipment.
As part of the conditions, businesses had to employ at least three local employees before they were eligible for the PIC cash payouts.
Chandran, who was the sole proprietor of a company called Paradize Consultancy, helped others obtain the monies even though they were not eligible for the scheme.
The trio – Mahendran Rajoo, Shanti Peerisamy and Crystal Priya Ragavan – received their monies in 2014. They were all dealt with earlier.
For his role in the ruse, the court ordered Mahendran in 2017 to pay a $49,212 penalty.
He was also given the maximum $5,000 fine. The Straits Times understands that the two women were given conditional warnings.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sanjiv Vaswani, as well as Iras prosecutors Norman Teo and Christopher Lim, said the trio had handed half of their ill-gotten gains to the magician.
Chandran intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence. He was offered bail of $200,000 yesterday.