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Ministry messenger to repay $.5m for fraud
Richard Mc Arthur, the messenger employed with the Ministry of Legal Affairs charged with defrauding the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) of more than half a million dollars over a two-year period, has been ordered to pay $134,000 within the next 28 days. Failing to pay the fine he will serve six months in jail.
Mc Arthur, 49 a father of five of St John’s Road, Tunapuna pleaded guilty to 67 charges which included 58 counts of filing false Value Added Tax (VAT) returns and nine counts of failing to produce records as requested by the BIR. When he appeared before Magistrate Marcia Murray in the Port-of-Spain First Court for sentencing yesterday his lawyer Ayanna Charles pleaded for leniency.
She said her client was “remorseful and had a contrite heart.” Charles told the court Mc Arthur co-operated with the authorities and had already repaid $9,000 as part of his commitment to making reparation. Mc Arthur was charged by PC Adesh Ramdeo of the Criminal Tax Investigations Unit with defrauding the BIR of $512,000 between 2008 to 2010. Attorney Evans Welch, who conducted the prosecution’s case, said he was dissatisfied with the ruling and noted his intention to appeal the decision.
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