The former treasurer and secretary of the Manawatu Greyhound Racing Club is on trial for falsifying tax information and allegedly told investigators he had not committed a crime, but a "moral indiscretion".
Ashoka Kant Pandey, 62, of Palmerston North, denies a charge of providing false information to the Inland Revenue Department on March 3, 2010.
In Palmerston North District Court yesterday, Crown prosecutor Amy Whittaker said Pandey's actions saw the club get a GST refund of just over $38,000.
"The accused did this knowing that the club was not entitled to that refund at that particular time," Miss Whittaker said.
Pandey is accused of including GST payments made to two greyhound trainers on March 3, 2010, in the club's return for the period ending January 2010.
Pandey claimed the payments were made to the trainers on January 29, 2010, when in fact they should have been included in the return for the period ending March that year.
This enabled the club to get more money than it would have otherwise received in the January period, Miss Whittaker said. "He did it because he wanted to protect the club and get funds for the club."
Because the amount of money claimed, $46,937.16, was larger than for previous periods, Inland Revenue investigated.
Pandey is accused of telling an investigator in March 2010 that he "cheated absolutely".
A month later he was interviewed again.
"He explained that he had included [the two payments] in the return because the club was in financial difficulties and could not cover the cost of the two invoices," Miss Whittaker said.
"[Pandey] also said that he tried to make himself think that this was not really a crime, but a moral indiscretion."
Pandey is representing himself, but the court has appointed lawyer Fergus Steedman to assist him.
Mr Steedman made a brief opening statement to Judge Les Atkins and the jury.
"[Pandey's] argument is that there was no overpayment … but that his crime was he asked for a refund that was properly payable, but he asked for it two months early."
The trial continues.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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