Tax Authority raids Shlomo Sixt offices

Shlomo Sixt

Last week, “Globes” revealed investigators were conducting an undercover probe of massive tax evasion in the auto industry.

Israel Tax Authority investigators raided the offices of Shlomo Holdings on Thursday morning, a week after “Globes” revealed the wide-ranging undercover investigation of the auto industry for alleged tax evasion.

The investigators confiscated documents and computers necessary for the investigation from the offices of Shlomo Holdings - the parent company which controls the fleet operation subsidiaries of the Shlomo Group. Investigators also visited the offices of other Shlomo subsidiaries and summoned corporate executives for questioning, including Shlomo Group chairman Asi Shmeltzer - son of the late founder Shlomo Shmeltzer - CEO Eyal Gur, and CFO Eyan Ben Yosef.

The company reported its executives' summons immediately to the TASE: “This morning, the tax authorities summoned for questioning the chairman of the board, the CEO, and the CFO. Tax investigators visited the offices of the company and its subsidiaries as part an investigation they are conducting.”

The company said it believed the investigation was related to media reports of a probe led by the Tax Authority into several companies in the auto sector and referenced “Globes” journalist Gur Megiddo’s exclusive expose from last week.

Shlomo Holdings added in the report that it “has cooperated and will cooperate with the authorities, as required.”

The affair was first uncovered by “Globes”. The report said the Tax Authority was conducting a wide-ranging undercover investigation of the auto and leasing sectors for allegedly evading tens of millions of shekels in tax - and maybe even hundreds of millions.

Based on the information provided to “Globes”, one of the central allegations involve the evasion of sales tax and income tax through false classification of income from selling insurance as an expense refund to clients instead of taxable income while omitting the income from its reports to the Tax Authority.

According to the information provided to “Globes”, other leading companies are suspected of other violations, including money laundering.

The Tax Authority had filed a document with privileged information regarding the case to the court and it was designated as classified in the file. However, following a temporary malfunction in the “Court Net” system, the document became briefly available and its contents were revealed to various sources in the auto industry, including executives at companies that may be part of the probe.

Thus, some of the very people which the investigation hoped to catch off guard have been aware of the probe for several weeks.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on February 14, 2016

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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