DOJ to file P61-M tax evasion raps vs Napoles couple

MANILA, Philippines – The justice department on Monday, March 30, approved the filing of tax evasion charges against alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and her husband Jaime.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) found probable cause that the couple under-declared their income for several years starting in 2004 and thus accumulated tax defiencies of P61.18 million (including increments), according to the 18-page resolution penned by Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano and approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.

The Napoles couple will be charged before the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) for violating sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC).

News of the tax raps against Janet and Jaime came just weeks after the DOJ also filed a P17.88-million tax evasion case against their daughter Jeane, who became known for her lavish lifestyle at the height of the pork barrel scam. (READ: Pork Tales: A Story of Corruption)

The Napoles couple tried to shield their daughter from the tax charges, saying they only put the property under their name. Authorities said that if it were the case, the couple could still be charged for failing to pay donor's tax.

Not enough income

According to the NBI, the Napoles couple only had a disposable income of over P500,000 as of December 31, 2013. Probers said it was then impossible for husband and wife to have acquired the several properties and insurance policies they had from 2004 to 2012. They also invested in several businesses.

The resolution said the Napoleses' "non-denial of the questioned properties registered in their names, as well as the considerable period of time they accumulated such wealth, creates an indubitable precept in our minds that indeed the seeds they have sown have grown to become a deeply-rooted sequoia of fraud."

"After preliminary investigation has been concluded, the gamut of evidence presented absolutely engendered a well-grounded belief that the crimes charged had been committed, and that respondent spouses should be held for trial," it added.

Based on records from the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Janet and Jaime had tax liabilities of P44,711,147.48 million and 16,470,402.72 million, respectively, for taxable years 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

The BIR said the Napoles couple willfully attempted to evade taxes for the years 2004, 2006, and from 2008 until 2012.

Janet Napoles also deliberately supplied incorrect and inaccurate information in her Income Tax Return for taxable years 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009, the BIR said, while she willfully failed to file her ITRs for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

Jaime Napoles also supplied incorrect and inaccurate information in his ITR for 2009, and failed to file his ITRs for 2004, 2006, 2008, and from 2010 until 2012.

"Information gathered during investigation disclosed that spouses Napoles during the years 2004 to 2012 were able to purchase and register in their names various real properties, a number of motor vehicles, several insurance policies and club shares. They also invested millions of pesos in various new corporations," the BIR said in its complaint.

The couple acquired:

The BIR bureau said Janet Napoles’ total acquisitions were worth P4.17 million in 2004, P22.29 million in 2006, P4.35 million in 2008, P9.84 million in 2009, P6.33 million in 2010, P5.64 million in 2011, and P6.89 million in 2012.

These acquisitions were made, however, with a declared income of only P195,800 in 2004, zero in 2006, P100,744 in 2008, and zero in 2009, as the ITRs showed. She did not file any ITR from 2010 to 2012.

Jaime Napoles' acquisitions amounted to P1.42 million in 2004, P5.51 million in 2006, P0.78 million in 2008, P9.25 million in 2009, P2.1 million in 2010, P1.17 million in 2011, and P3.65 million in 2012. He did not file any ITR for those years except in 2009, during which he did not declare any acquisition.

The BIR filed its complaint against Napoleses in 2013, but the resolution of the  case was delayed due to the death of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela, who conducted the preliminary probe into the case. –