ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
DOJ summons Cedric Lee on P194-M tax evasion case
The Department of Justice might have already resolved the various criminal complaints against Cedric Lee for the mauling of TV host-actor Vhong Navarro.
But the embattled businessman will have to face the DOJ anew, this time for the preliminary investigation on the P194.47-million tax evasion case earlier filed against him and his company by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Special Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela told reporters that she has assigned Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Mariano to conduct a preliminary investigation on the tax evasion complaint on April 28, at 2 p.m.
Mariano originally subpoenaed Lee for to appear in court on April 11.
That time, however, Lee's lawyer Howard Calleja requested that the preliminary probe be reset because they were attending to another case – serious illegal detention – pending before a Taguig court.
Valenzuela said she decided to assign just one prosecutor and no longer a panel of prosecutors because she did not expect the documents on this case to be as voluminous as in other high-profile cases like the tax evasion complaints against alleged pork barrel fund scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The BIR is suing Lee, his company Izumo Contractors Inc, and others, for supposedly not paying taxes to the tune of P194.47 million.
The bureau accused Izumo Contractors Inc., its president and chief executive officer Lee, chief operating officer John King and chief financial officer Judy Gutierrez Lee of willful attempt to evade paying the right amount of taxes and deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information on the company's annual income tax return 2006 to 2009.
The BIR said those acts violated Section 254 and 255, in relation to Section 253(dl) and 256 of the amended National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.
According to the bureau, it received "confidential information" that Izumo Contractors had been remiss in settling tax liabilities. After a preliminary investigation that established a "prima facie" case of fraud, it issued a letter of authority to examine the company books and other accounting records.
Certifications secured by the BIR from clients of Izumo Contractor revealed the company had earned P302.63 million from 2006 to 2009.
Among its clients were the local governments of Butuan, San Juan City, Pasay City, Davao del Sur, and Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.
However, the company declared an income of only P76.22 million from 2006 to 2009, according to the BIR.
The bureau said Izumo Contractors underdeclared its income by P88.79 million in 2006, by P36.93 million in 2007, by P9.49 million in 2008 and by P91.20 million in 2009.
The BIR said Lee under declared his firm's income by more than 30 percent and constitutes prima facie case of fraud tantamount to tax evasion.
The bureau said Izumo Contractors had incurred a tax liability of P194.47 million, including surcharges and interest.
In January, Lee was embroiled in the mauling of Navarro inside a condominium unit at Forbeswood Heights in Taguig City.
He is currently facing criminal complaints before separate Taguig courts for illegal detention, serious physical injuries, grave threats, grave coercion, illegal arrest, and blackmail. He has denied all charges. — LBG, GMA News
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