A businessman from west Trinidad has been granted $200,000 bail after appearing in court charged with using a forged valuation report to allegedly cheat the Board of Inland Revenue (BIR) out of $88,750 in stamp duty.
Elias Moses, of Westmoorings, was granted bail after appearing in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday charged with uttering a forged document and with seeking to cheat the BIR.
Moses was not called upon to plead to the charges, which were laid indictably.
According to the charges, Moses is accused of presenting the alleged fraudulent document to the BIR’s Stamp Duty Section in February 2021, when he went to pay the stamp duty on a $2.6 million property in Point Cumana he purchased.
The report indicated that the property was classed as residential meaning that he owed $93,250 in stamp duty.
It was later discovered that the report was not produced by the valuation firm, whose letterhead was used, and that the property was actually classed as commercial meaning that he should have paid $182,000 in stamp duty.
BIR legal consultant Evans Welch did not object to bail for Moses.
As part of the conditions of his bail, Moses was ordered to report to the Four Roads Police Station once weekly for the duration of his case.
Moses, who was represented by Ravi Rajcoomar, SC, is scheduled to reappear in court on May 31.
Criminal tax investigator Adesh Ramdeo laid the charges.