Income Tax Department on Saturday said that tax evasion worth Rs 20 crore by a Bollywood actor and his associates have been unearthed so far apart from violations of regulations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
IT department sources told ANI that searches were conducted in the premises linked with actor Sonu Sood over the past three days.
While conducting searches, the department recovered evidence of bogus contracts of over Rs 65 crore related to an Infrastructure group in Lucknow, Rs 1.8 crore cash, and the tax evasion of Rs 20 crore.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes on Saturday in a press statement said that "during the course of search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion have been found."
The Income Tax Department conducted searches of a total of 28 premises spread over Mumbai, Lucknow, Kanpur, Jaipur, Delhi, and Gurgaon linked to the actor.
The search has revealed that the said Infrastructure Group in Lucknow is involved in bogus billing of subcontracting expenses and siphoning off of funds, CBDT said.
Further, it has been unearthed that the said Infrastructure Group/company has entered into a dubious circular transaction to the tune of Rs. 175 crore with an infrastructure company based in Jaipur, the board said.
The simultaneous search operations carried out at various premises of an Infrastructure group in Lucknow in which the said actor has entered into a joint venture real estate project and invested substantial funds, have resulted in the unearthing of incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion and irregularities in the books of account, as per the statement.
The Charity Foundation incorporated by the actor on July 21, 2020, has collected donations to the tune of Rs 18.94 crore from April 1 this year till date, out of which it has spent around Rs. 1.9 crore towards various relief work and the balance of Rs. 17 crore has been found lying unutilized in the bank account of the Foundation to date, the CBDT said.
It is seen 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 in violation of FCRA regulations.
During the course of the search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion have been found.
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. There have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the books of accounts for the purpose of evasion of tax.
It has also been revealed that these bogus loans have been used for making investments and acquiring properties.
The search operation is still continuing and further investigations are underway.