The Income Tax department claims to have unearthed tax evasion of Rs 20 crore, illegal foreign donations and other irregularities after surveys conducted at several properties linked to Sonu Sood.
The I-T department conducted a search and seizure operation at several premises in Mumbai linked to Sonu Sood, and also a Lucknow-based group of industries engaged in infrastructure development. A total of 28 premises spread over Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi, and Gurgaon have been covered in the search operation.
During the course of the searches conducted at the actor and his associates’ premises, the I-T department claims to have found evidence of tax evasion. I-T department sources claimed that the modus operandi followed by the actor had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities.
The department claims that the investigations so far have revealed the use of 20 such entries, the providers of which, on examination, have accepted on oath to have given bogus accommodation entries. They have accepted to have issued cheques in lieu of cash, I-T department further claims.
According to the department, there have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the account books for the purpose of evasion of tax. These bogus loans have been used for making investments and acquiring properties. The I-T department also claims that the total amount of tax evasion unearthed so far amounts to more than Rs 20 crore.
According to the department, the charity foundation established by Sonu Sood on July 21, 2020, has collected donations to the tune of Rs 18.94 crore from April 1, 2021, to date. Out of Rs 18.94 crore, Rs 1.9 crore has been spent on various relief works, and the balance of Rs 17 crore has been found lying unutilised in the bank account of the foundation to date. The I-T department also claimed that funds to the tune of Rs 2.1 crore have also been raised by the charity foundation from overseas donors on a crowdfunding platform, which is in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA) regulations.
The I-T department claims that the simultaneous search operations carried out at various premises of an infrastructure group in Lucknow, where Sonu Sood is jointly part of a real estate project and has invested substantial funds in, have resulted in unearthing incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion and irregularities in the account books.
According to the department, the search has revealed that the said group is involved in bogus billings of subcontracting expenses and siphoning off funds. Evidence of such bogus contracts found so far is to the tune of over Rs 65 crore. Evidence of unaccounted cash expenses, unaccounted sale of scrap and digital data evidencing unaccounted cash transactions have also been found. Further, the department claims that the infrastructure group/company has entered into a dubious circular transaction to the tune of Rs 175 crore with an infrastructure company based in Jaipur. Further investigations are being carried out to establish the full extent of tax evasion.
According to the department, cash of Rs 1.8 crore has been seized during the course of the search and 11 lockers have been placed under prohibitory order.
The search operation is still continuing and further investigations are in progress.
This content was originally published here.