The city and canton of Geneva could recover 125 million Swiss francs ($ 136 million) in alleged unpaid taxes from Prakash Hinduja, who is accused of falsely claiming to reside in Monaco.
Wednesday newspaper 24 hours revealed that the Federal Court had set at 125 million francs the sum that the Swiss billionaire of Indian origin will have to pay as a financial guarantee. The 76-year-old is accused of falsely claiming to reside in Monaco to avoid paying Swiss taxes while allegedly residing in Cologny, a suburb of Geneva, with his family.
According to 24 hours, a 2018 investigation into the ill-treatment and underpayment of domestic staff alerted the prosecutor to his residency status. His home was searched and documents and computers were seized. It is estimated that Hinduja escaped tax on 19 million Swiss francs of income and at least 1 billion Swiss francs of assets between 2009 and 2017.
The deposit of 125 million francs ordered by the Federal Court is much lower than what the tax authorities wanted because the offenses for the years 2009 and 2010 are time-barred. The arrears of taxes, interest and other fines are estimated at 154 million francs in municipal and cantonal taxes and at 3.4 million francs in federal tax. Hinduja wanted fines to be excluded from the estimate and offered 70 million francs as collateral. The offer was rejected by the court. The case is now on hold pending the progress of the criminal investigation and the presumption of innocence applies.
Forbes ranks the Hinduja family – Prakash and his three brothers Srichand, Gopichand and Ashok – the 133rd richest in the world with a combined fortune estimated at $ 15.3 billion. They are currently involved in a dispute over the ownership of Bank Hinduja in Geneva.
Prakash Hinduja acquired Swiss citizenship in 2000 with his wife. Her three children are also Swiss citizens. The Hinduja Group employs around 70,000 people worldwide in various sectors such as banking and finance, transport, energy, technology, media and telecommunications.24 hours / ac