Owner of tuition agencies jailed 7 months for making fraudulent PIC claims

Owner of tuition agencies jailed 7 months for making fraudulent PIC claims

Channel NewsAsia·2018-02-13 10:21

SINGAPORE: A 33-year-old man who owns several tuition agencies was sentenced to seven months’ jail on Monday (Feb 12) for making fraudulent Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) claims worth more than S$70,000.

Xu Feng Jia was also ordered to pay a penalty of S$257,436, which is three-and-a-half times the amount of payouts he fraudulently obtained.

The PIC scheme was introduced in 2010 to encourage businesses to invest in productivity and innovation. Cash payouts and tax deductions are offered to companies that invest in worker training, information technology or automation equipment.

Between September and December 2012, Xu orchestrated the submission of nine fraudulent claims, said the Inland Revenue Authority (IRAS) in a media release.

Four of those claims were made by companies directly under Xu’s control - Edward Home Tuition Agency, Edward Education Consultancy, A Tick For That! Education School LLP and Friends! Learning Centre.

In making the PIC claims, Xu stated that the companies had three local employees when they were in fact volunteer tutors. In addition, the expenses he submitted to IRAS were either fictitious or personal expenses made by the tuition agencies’ volunteer or part-time tutors.

The other five fraudulent PIC claims were made by companies which Xu sold a “tuition-matching software” to.

He helped the owners of the five companies qualify for PIC payouts by providing them with the particulars of individuals to be listed as their local employees.

To make it more believable, Xu used the employers' SingPass accounts to make CPF contributions for their “employees”.

The sole proprietors of the five companies were convicted in 2016.

Those convicted of abusing the scheme face a penalty of up to four times the amount of cash payout fraudulently obtained, said IRAS, with a fine of up to S$50,000 and up to five years’ jail. 

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Singapore Crime Fraud IRAS Government