Fuel sellers under arrest in ‘biggest-ever tax scam’

Police: NIS 3.5b. of fake transactions used to evade NIS 600m. of taxes.

fraud [illustrative]_370 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
fraud [illustrative]_370
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Two fuel sellers and seven associates were arrested on Monday on suspicion of being involved in the largest tax scam in the state’s history.
The police’s National Economic Crimes Unit said the suspects distributed fake tax receipts for NIS 3.5 billion worth of fake transactions.
The suspects allegedly used the fake receipts to evade paying NIS 600 million worth of value-added tax on fuel.
Detectives set up a joint investigation team with Finance Ministry inspectors in Tel Aviv and opened an undercover investigation several months ago against the suspects, focusing the two fuel sellers, one of whom is based in the North and the second on the South.
The detectives said they discovered that the sellers built a network of fake companies used to distribute the fictitious tax receipts.
Real companies under the suspects’ ownerships then received the receipts, allowing their owners to claim they had paid that amount in tax.
“This is how they ‘financed’ the high VAT fuel taxes they were supposed to pay,” police said.
Officers detained an additional 15 suspects for questioning.
During raids on the suspects’ homes, police seized computers, luxury vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of shekels worth of cash.