Man on trial for helping businesses make false claims totalling $1.1m

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, 37, 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 local employees.

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 (DPP) Sanjiv Vaswani said in his opening address.

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

The trial continues today.