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Pumaren faces P20-M tax evasion raps

By JUN RAMIREZ

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) filed yesterday tax evasion charges against former basketball star Franz Pumaren for his alleged failure to settle the more than P20 million tax debts of his trading company.

In a criminal complaint filed with the Department of Justice, the erstwhile PBA player, now head coach of PBA team Globalport Batang Pier, was cited for reportedly ignoring tax collection notices sent to All Best Chodevale Development of Greenhills, Mandaluyong City, of which he is the president.

The tax debts incurred in 2009 included income and value-added taxes.

Like Pumaren, the BIR also filed separate criminal charges against three other business executives for allegedly refusing to pay tax liabilities totaling to more than P10 million.

They were identified as William Stelton and Lawrence Ong, president and treasurer, respectively, of Bistro Italiano Corporation of Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City and Dennis Tia, president of Cebu Fiesta Island of Ali Mall Food Gallery, Araneta Center, Cubao Quezon City.

Quezon City Revenue Regional Director Marina de Guzman said all the accused were served with all sort of notices including letters of authority to investigate, final assessment notice, and subpoena duces tecum.

However, she said the said taxpayers refused to pay the long overdue deficiency income and business taxes, prompting her to recommend to higher authorities the filing of appropriate charges.

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