IN part 1 of this series, I mentioned that it is possible that the scapegoat in this tele-tax-novela may have been used by the masterminds in the “Official Receipts-(OR)-for-sale” scam. These masterminds could have inserted the names of the scapegoats in the ORs that were printed and subsequently sold to the partners of the syndicate, without the knowledge of the scapegoats.
A cursory search on the Internet disclosed some interesting information on the scapegoats or respondents to the criminal cases filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue with the Department of Justice this month. These respondents were accused of being involved in the fake ORs syndicate led by the masterminds are Buildforce Trading Inc. (Buildforce), Crazykitchen Foodtrade Corp. (Crazykitchen), Decarich Supertrade Inc.(Decarich), and Redington Corp.(Redington).
My search (without the aid of Artificial Intelligence Chat GPT) disclosed some information about three respondents, while there was no information about the fourth. While doing this search, I realized that there are organizations providing information for a subscription fee on business enterprises. Such information as address, telephone number, board members and executives, and even financial data are available. The organizations that I referred to in my search include Crunchbase, Company file, and BizDirect Asia. From the data that I was able to gather from these sources, Buildforce, Crazykitchen, and Decarich have business information available. I speculate that these companies may have registered with the regulatory offices, such as the BIR and the Securities and Exchange Commission, and may still be in operation or have ceased their business. I wonder if the BIR did a due diligence on these companies before they filed the criminal complaints. Did the BIR enforcement officers do an ocular inspection of the premises of these companies to determine if these are still conducting operations or may have even re-located from their registered office addresses? As to the fourth respondent, Redington, my search did not disclose any information from the Internet on this scapegoat. Is it possible that the masterminds used a fabricated company, like Redington, in its OR-for-sale business? Did the BIR search its database to determine if Redington had previously registered its business with the BIR?
All these issues and questions provide the twists and turns on this evolving tax-tele-novela. Next week, I will continue my discussion on the roles of the other characters in this novela. These include the enforcement officers, namely the BIR, the National Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Justice, the masteminds, and the partners. Recently, I noted that there are other characters who are emerging, the free riders and the bit players.
A friend of mine asked what is my role in this tax-tele-novela. He jokingly asked if I am the scriptwriter of this novela. I assured him that definitely I have no plan of being the scriptwriter. At most, I said that I am just the chronicler of these events. I have previously written in this column six articles on this “OR for sale” crime. These are the articles entitled “Receipts for sale,” “To catch a (Tax) thief, “Investigative Tax Journalism,” “My investigation continues” (Parts 1 and 2), and the first part of this article. For those interested in reading these, you can access the online versions on the web site of BusinessMirror.
Next week, I continue writing on the chronicle, not the script, of the tax-tele-novela.
To be continued.
Joel L. Tan-Torres was the former Dean of the University of the Philippines Virata School of Business. Previously, he was the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the chairman of the Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy, and partner of Reyes Tacandong & Co. and the SyCip Gorres and Velayo & Co. He is a Certified Public Accountant who garnered No. 1 in the CPA Board Examination of May 1979. He is now back to his tax practice with his firm JL2T Consulting. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.