By Nancy Carvajal
Over 1,600 companies, including a major fast food chain, car dealerships, real estate firms and wellness clinics, reportedly evaded paying taxes with the help of World Balance scion and Lyka app founder Bernard “Bren” Chong’s business, which allegedly manufactured fake receipts.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now sifting through hundreds of thousands of files recovered from computers seized at Brenterprise International Inc.’s office in Eastwood, Quezon City to determine the extent of what Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla dubbed as a “fake receipts scam.”
Over 1,000 big and small PH firms have reportedly availed of Bren Chong’s fake tax receipts scam
NBI Anti-Organized and Transnational Crime Division (AOTCD) chief Jerome Bomediano told Bilyonaryo that based on their analysis of the seized files, Brenterprise had corporate clients from various industries.
“We will send subpoenas to the companies found in Brenterprise’s records and give them a chance to explain their link to the firm,” he said.
Parang Napoles! Firm owned by Lyka app founder, Esports owner and World Balance heir Bren Chong behind P45B tax receipts scam
While Bomediano declined to disclose the names of companies included in Brenterprise’s records, he said the number of clients which engaged the services of Chong’s firm could go up as the NBI continues its digital forensics.
“The files found in the computers showed details of the transactions between Brenterprise and its clients. That information is valuable in determining how much tax these companies avoided paying through fraudulent means,” Bomediano said.
Investigation by the NBI showed that Brenterprise used nearly 200 dummy or “ghost” suppliers to pad the expenses of companies to lower their income tax payments.
Brenterprise’s alleged illegal operations reportedly ran from 2008 until December last year when its office was raided by NBI. The tax scam reportedly cost the government P50 billion in lost revenues.
Last month, the NBI filed criminal complaints against Chong and other officials of Brenterprise over the alleged tax scam.
The charges filed against them included: falsification of commercial documents, fraudulent conduct of business, acting as intermediaries for graft and corrupt practices, and printing of fraudulent receipts or commercial invoices.
The Chong-owned firm allegedly charged a 0.8-percent commission or “regular fee” on the total amount “fictionally purchased” for the client, according to the NBI’s complaint.
Chong, who’s also an esports executive, is reportedly out of the country. He was recently cleared of drug smuggling charges by the Court of Appeals.