A bunch of companies used fake bills and invoices to claim refunds amounting to Rs28.72 crore under the Mahrashtra Value Added Tax Act from the state government.
The alleged mastermind behind this racket, one Kishankumar Gupta and his associate were on Wednesday denied anticipatory bail by the Bombay high court.
According to the Sales Tax department, Gupta claimed to be the director of KK Traders Pvt Ltd and 26 other companies which only existed on paper. Another accused named as a director of the various companies turned out t be working as a peon for Gupta.
Between April 2005 and March 2008, Gupta's companies allegedly issued fake bills to beneficiary companies showing goods transactions of Rs718 crore. The beneficiaries then used the fake bills to claim the VAT refund, duping the state government of Rs28.72 crore.
The Sales Tax department woke up to the fraud when its sought inspection of the accounts, registers pertaining to stocks of goods and payments made and received by Gupta's various companies. It was found that no such documents existed and the companies did not have any office premises, manufacturing units or godowns. A criminal case was lodged on August 7.
During the investigation, one of the beneficiaries allegedly admitted that the accused had issued fake bills/invoices when there were no transactions. The government opposed the accused's anticipatory bail application stating that custody of the accused was required to unravel the big racket.