Cedric Lee Faces More Legal Woes

Cedric Lee is now facing grave coercion and serious illegal detention.

Lee’s charges are related to the Jan. 22 beating of TV host and actor Vhong Navarro that may land him in jail pending trial.

He has to contend with a tax evasion case filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue last month.

The Department of Justice has set on April 28 the first hearing of a preliminary investigation it is conducting on the tax evasion case.

His company, Izumo Contractors Inc. is sued for tax liabilities amounting to P194.47 million.

Also included in the complaint with Lee, who is president/chief executive officer, are Izumo’s chief operating officer John K. Ong and its financial officer Judy Gutierrez Lee.

They were all charged with willful attempt to evade or defeat taxes and deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in the annual Income Tax Returns (ITR) for taxable years 2006 to 2009, in violation of Sections 254 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

Navarro had filed multiple charges against Lee and his companions.

Cornejo also slapped the television host with a rape complaint but a DOJ panel has since dropped the charge.

The DOJ has filed charges of serious illegal detention and grave coercion against Lee and his group and the Metropolitan trial Court of Taguig has issued warrants for their arrest.

Court Issues Warrant Of Arrest For Cedric Lee & His Group

The group may post bail on the grave coercion charge but not in the serious illegal detention case, which is non-bailable.

Lee caught the BIR’s attention after he described himself as a reputable businessman who owned several companies.

The case against Izumo arose from confidential information received by Henares’ office denouncing the company for tax evasion committed via non-declaration of income realized from its business.

A BIR check of Izumo’s clients showed the company received P302.63 million in payments from 2006 to 2009 from the city governments of Butuan, San Juan, Pasay as well as provincial government of Davao del Sur and municipal government of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.

But Izumo declared in its ITR only a total amount of P76.22 million for 2006 to 2009.

A comparison of the gross income declared by Izumo in the said years as against the income it received as certified by its clients revealed that Izumo deliberately failed to declare its correct taxable base by substantially underdeclaring its taxable income.

Underdeclaring of taxable income by more than 30 percent is considered substantial and constitutes prima facie case of fraud tantamount to tax evasion, the BIR said.