HomeNewsCrimeMan In R160k Tax Fraud Convicted And Sentenced

Man In R160k Tax Fraud Convicted And Sentenced

Cases of VAT fraud and other financial crimes undermine the integrity of the tax system and have severe consequences for the economy.

The Nelspruit Commercial Crime Court in Mpumalanga has recently concluded a case involving the conviction and sentencing of Mduduzi Steven Mashwama, a 44-year-old individual, and his company MPG Mash Trading CC.

The charges against them included theft and contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).

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The fraudulent activities took place in July 2020 when Mashwama and his company submitted Value Added Tax (VAT) claims and falsely claimed undue VAT refunds amounting to R166,850 from the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

The matter was reported to the Hawks Nelspruit-based serious commercial crime investigation unit for further investigation.

After a thorough investigation, the accused was summoned to appear in court on multiple occasions until the sentencing took place on Tuesday.

Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi, the Mpumalanga spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, also known as the Hawks, provided details of the sentencing.

Mduduzi Steven Mashwama, as accused number two in the court case, received the following sentences:

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  1. Count one: Theft – Six years imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on the condition that he is not convicted of theft, fraud, or any offense involving misrepresentation during the suspension period.
  2. Count two: Contravention of the VAT Act – 24 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on the condition that he is not found guilty of contravening the Act during the suspension period.
  3. Count three: Contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act – Six years imprisonment, wholly suspended for a period of five years on the condition that he is not convicted of contravening the Act during the suspension period.

In addition to the suspended sentences, Mashwama was ordered to repay Sars the amount of R166,850 in monthly installments of R500.

The repayment is to commence on February 1, with subsequent payments due on or before the seventh of each month until the full amount is repaid. These payments are to be made to the clerk of court in Mbombela.

The company, MPG Trading CC, as accused number one, received the following sentences:

  1. Count one: Theft – A R100,000 fine, wholly suspended for a period of five years on the condition that the company is not convicted of theft, fraud, or any offense involving misrepresentation during the suspension period.
  2. Count two: Contravention of the VAT Act – A R100,000 fine, wholly suspended for five years on the condition that the company is not found guilty of contravening the Act.
  3. Count three: Contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act – A R100,000 fine, wholly suspended for five years on the condition that the company is not found guilty of contravening the Act during the suspension period.

Major General Nicholas Gerber, the provincial head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, commended the law enforcement and prosecution team for their exceptional work in ensuring the conviction of the accused.

This successful outcome demonstrates the commitment to combating financial crimes and upholding the law.

Cases of VAT fraud and other financial crimes undermine the integrity of the tax system and have severe consequences for the economy.

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The conviction and sentencing of Mduduzi Steven Mashwama and MPG Mash Trading CC serve as a deterrent to others who may consider engaging in similar fraudulent activities.

It is crucial for businesses and individuals to understand the legal and ethical responsibilities associated with taxation.

Compliance with tax laws is essential for maintaining trust in the financial system and ensuring a fair and equitable society.

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Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise for SurgeZirc SA
Keitumetse Modise is a passionate and dedicated local news writer who brings the latest news and updates from your community straight to your doorstep. With years of experience in journalism, Keitumetse has established herself as a reliable source of information, covering a wide range of topics that matter to you.
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