Bašternák charged with tax crimes

The case goes back to 2012 when the businessman asked for excessive VAT refunds.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SITA)

The investigator of the financial police department of the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) has accused businessman Ladislav Bašternák with not paying taxes and insurance, the Webnoviny.sk website reported.

The charges were laid on March 17.

The investigator claims that Bašternák, as the authorised representative of company BL-202, groundlessly claimed for a VAT refund amounting to more than €1.97 million back in April 2012 for purchasing seven flats worth more than €11.849 million in the Five Star Residence complex. However, it paid only €1.456 million for them.

As a result, the company received a tax advantage and groundlessly claimed for a return on excessive VAT refunds amounting to €1.732 million, according to the investigator.

The police revealed that the flats had been originally bought by company Rent and Wash on March 8, 2012 for €1, while the purchasing agreement says those were the unfurnished flats. The contract also included the loan to the original owner, Viliam Gross, amounting to €1.2 million from the purchasing company. Subsequently, Rent and Wash signed a purchasing deal with BL-202 on March 19, 2012, amounting to nearly €12 million.

The police thus say the claim that Bašternák’s company was selling flats with above-standard furnishing will not stand up, as it would have ha only 11 days to reconstruct them, Webnoviny.sk wrote.

Read also:Ex-policeman: Raids at Bašternák were suspicious Read more 

BL-202 sold one of the flats for €170,000 on May 4, 2012 via a real estate agency as unfurnished, according to the investigator. The remaining six flats were used to pay off the loan at €1.2 million provided by Patrik Ziman, based on an agreement on settling liabilities. Ziman then sold two of the flats in August 2012 for €395,000, and the remaining flats in September for €200,000.

The police launched an investigation of excessive VAT refunds in April 2016 when the NAKA investigator also began a criminal prosecution. The charges are based on testimonies of several witnesses and a file provided by the tax office.

To secure the accounting materials, the police carried out several raids of houses and other premises situated at residence addresses of the aforementioned companies, as well as in Bašternák’s house, Webnoviny.sk reported.

The controversial businessman, among other things, owns the residential complex Bonaparte where Prime Minister Robert Fico lives. He claimed back in February that when Bašternák is accused, he will immediately leave the flat.

Fico's response to to the news is not expected, the Sme daily reported.

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