Justice files charges against several companies for withholding Puerto Rico sales tax
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Department of Justice filed 19 charges Friday against S.C. Concrete Corp., South Caribbean Inc., Ferretería Rabanal and their president, Eddie A. Ortiz, for allegedly not remitting sales and use tax (IVU by its Spanish acronym) withholdings from 2013 to 2017.
“The Department of Justice and its Financial Crimes Division is actively working with the Department of the Treasury as part of the Collaboration Agreement signed between the two agencies to investigate and prosecute this type of criminal activity. We will continue to identify those who fail the people of Puerto Rico and bring them to justice,” Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez said in a written statement.
She explained that the joint investigation revealed that $197,564 in illegally withheld IVU had not be remitted to Treasury. The figure could rise to $395,128 when adding interest and fines.
The charges submitted by prosecutor Leilani Dominicci are for violations of section 6030.12 of the Internal Revenue Code of 2011, on willful attempts to evade or defeat a tax imposed by the code or payment of the tax or willfully failing to collect or remit taxes.
If found guilty, they are subject to a penalty of eight years and one day in prison for each of the charges.
Judge Edgar Figueroa, of the Court of First Instance of San Juan, found cause for arrest and set bail at $19,000. The preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 16.
Dominicci worked on the case with agents Sandra Polo and Ricardo del Valle, both from Treasury’s Tax Fraud Intelligence Division.
“We have a clear commitment to help any business owner who wants to fulfill their obligations and help improve the economy of the island. However, this does not mean we will ignore those who do not want to fulfill their responsibilities. That is what our agreement with the Department of Justice is about,” Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado said.