Three TT Civil Servants and a businessman on 200 VAT fraud charges
A high ranking Trinidad and Tobago civil servant, his wife, and two others have been charged with over 200 counts of VAT fraud.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, Thursday, November 17, 2011 – Over two years of alledgedly fraudulent value added tax (VAT) transactions has earned a senior civil servant, his wife, and two others, 200 criminal charges and TT$3 million in bail.
Reynold Beddeau, a deputy permanent secretary and health adviser in the Ministry of Health, his wife Camelite, a senior human resource officer at the Ministry of Community Development, Michael Haynes, an employee of the Ministry of Legal Affairs, and Kelly Radday, a businessman, of Kelly Village, Caroni, all appeared late yesterday afternoon before Magistrate Marcia Murray in the Seventh Court.
The court action followed a step by the four to surrender to the Central Police Station in Port-of-Spain, at around 5 am yesterday in the company of their attorneys Liana Ramsahai, Richard Thomas, and Ken Wright. Bail was set at the police station by a Justice of the Peace.
Collectively, the four face charges ranging from failing to comply with regulations to produce appropriate financial records, to producing false and misleading information to the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR). A company, Superior Catering Services Ltd, was listed as a party in the proceedings.
The sum of money allegedly obtained by the four was said to be over TT$600,000.
They were charged with a series of offences, including failing to comply with a request to produce books and records and providing false and misleading information to the BIR. The charges carry a maximum penalty of a $15,000 fine or up to two years’ imprisonment. The offences were allegedly committed between 2008 and 2010 and charges were laid after an investigation by the Criminal Tax Investigation Unit of the Inland Revenue Unit in the Ministry of Finance. Almost a year ago, Haynes, 54, was charged with 103 similar offences for which he is due to reappear in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court in December, as the matter is ongoing.
Prosecutor acting Inspector Joseph Darceuil agreed that the charges should be read at a later date as the accused had endured a lengthy processing time since their surrender in the early hours. The matter was adjourned to this morning when the charges are expected to be read to the group.
Darceuil told the court that attorney Evans Welch would be representing the BIR in the matter as a special prosecutor. Darceuil added that there would be two witnesses in the matter, both of whom were employed with the board.