Cedric Lee blames accountant for tax fraud woes

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

BUSINESSMAN Cedric Lee asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday to junk the multi-million peso tax evasion against him, saying it was the company accountant's fault.

In his counter-affidavit, Lee said Izumo Contractors, Inc. chief accountant Susan Nace prepared the working papers for the financial statements of the corporation for audit purposes as well as filed the income tax returns (ITRs) from 2006 to 2009.

"I have no personal knowledge as to the actual revenues collected per billings made by the accountant for a certain period. To reiterate, the accountant of the corporation prepared the financial statements and filed the ITRs," Lee said, adding he "heavily relied" on Nace, who had been working for Izumo for several years.

He also denied any "conscious effort" to hide the income of the company and evade the payment of taxes, "rather, the discrepancies, if any, are merely due to inadvertence to verify the actual revenues of the corporation for the years involved."

Judy Gutierrez Lee, the businessman's estranged wife, and Izumo chief operating officer John Ong are Lee's co-respondents in the complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on March 27.

Judy, who claimed she has had no financial dealings with Lee since their separation in 2005, said she did not know how she became Izumo's chief financial officer.

"I understand that the CFO is being elected by the board of directors but I have not attended any board meeting and I did not accept any such position of CFO. I never exercised my power and performed my duties and responsibilities as a member of the board of directors and CFO of Izumo," she said.

She added that it was Lee who signed tax documents for Izumo, which allegedly has a tax deficiency of P194.47 million. (Sunnex)

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