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Jeane Napoles charged with tax evasion

MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Bureau of Internal Revenue on Thursday, October 10, filed tax evasion charges against Jeane Napoles, daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, for her reported failure to pay taxes worth P32 million.

BIR Commissioner Kim Henares told a press briefing Jeane Napoles has tax liabilities of P32 million on the basis of her confirmed ownership of two properties: one in Los Angeles, California worth P54.73 million and a farm lot in Bayambang, Pangasinan worth P1.49 million.

Henares said Jeane failed to file any income tax return for 2011-2012 that would prove she derived income to be able to buy these properties. She also did not declare them as gifts, she said.

"The presumption is that for you to be able to buy something worth P54.73 million you must be able to earn an income with a net of P54.73 million. This is a conversative estimate because we don't even include your daily expenditures," Henares said in a press conference.

Jeane Napoles' property in the US is a condominium unit at the posh Ritz Carlon in Los Angeles.

On October 5, Rappler learned that the condominium is quietly being shopped to prospective buyers.

The Department of Justice is currently formalizing a request for assistance from the United States government to issue a freeze order on the condo, as well as on several US-based properties owned by the Napoles family under the premise "these are proceeds of the crime... [of] large scale corruption" -- although Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the government may still be able to recover the money paid for the convo in the event it is sold.

The older Napoles is the alleged mastermind of a multi-billion-peso pork barrel and Malampaya fund scams. Napoles faces plunder raps, alongside several politicians.

The unit is currently priced US$200,000 - 300,000 (roughly P9 million to P13.5 million) below its original selling price of $1.475 million (P36,875,000). It is expected to be sold quickly due to the popularity of these residences. 

Henares noted that since Napoles is selling her unit, she should also pay taxes once it's sold. READ: In defense of Jeane Napoles

It's not clear how the BIR arrived at a figure of P54.73 M in relation to the price of the Ritz Carlton condo.

Henares said there is a lesson to be learned over the charges.

"Moral lesson here is don't have your name used just like that because when you do and there's a problem, the person who we will investigate is you. You will be probed to see if you have the means to afford the property and if not, then it's you who has to deal with it. It's not that simple to lend a name because there's a corresponding responsibility," she said.

Parents, too

Jeane's parents were earlier charged with tax evasion on September 26.

Janet Napoles' total tax liability stands at P44.68M, while Jaime's liability is worth P16.43M, according to the BIR.

Henares has said that the charges are based on the failure of the couple to file proper income taxes. The agency reached this conclusion on the basis of properties and investments under their names, which are not reflected in the income they declared —or did not declare — in the years they were purchased.

These include their properties in City and Land Mega Plaza, Discovery Center, parcels of land in Pangasinan and Kidapawan City; insurance policies with Insular Life Assurance Co Ltd, Phil-American Life and General insurance Co, and Phil AXA Life Insurance Corp; and vehicles such as the Ford Lincoln Navigator, Honda Civic and Porsche Cayenne. READ: How Napoles is hiding her properties 

Janet Napoles is detained at Fort Sto Domingo in Sta Rosa, Laguna over illegal detention charges filed against her by the family of her cousin, former assistant and now whistleblower Benhur Luy. - Rappler.com