Credible reports reaching the Daily Observer have it that state lawyers failed to deposit a US$23,000 payment into government coffers made by SRIMEX Enterprises against its US$143,000 tax evasion case.
SRIMEX Enterprises is owned by Mr. Musa Bility, president of the Liberian Football Association.
The Tax Court on July 17, 2012 held SRIMEX liable to the tune of US$190,800 in a tax evasion case leveled against the company by the government. Mr. Bility made a US$10,000 payment that same year.
According to a judicial source, since the court’s ruling Mr. Bility had made significant payment toward said amount.
The source further alleged that early in October 2013, Bility deposited a check in the amount of US$23,000 with the court, alleging that said amount was withdrawn under pretense of having it later deposited into government coffers.
But, when contacted by mobile phone, one of state’s lawyers, Atty. Samuel Zayzay, could not deny or confirm the allegation.
“I cannot say no or yes, because we have not met the defendant’s team since our last sitting in September 2013,” Atty. Zayzay claimed.
When quizzed further as to why it took so long, Atty. Zayzay responded “because the lawyer for Mr. Bility, Cllr. Theopilus Gould, had been busy with government cases; like the mercenary case and the University of Liberia saga among others.”
“But, we will be meeting him today to find out about the status of the payment,” he added.
Court’s document in the possession of this paper revealed that in September 2013, SRIMEX‘s lawyer, Cllr.Theophilus Gould made a submission to the court, praying that they have engaged prosecution to give them time to pay the money within a 12 month period, beginning October 2013.
They said; since July 2013 amicable payment arrangements have been derived which, if defaulted upon, the judgment of the court must be enforced.
Prosecution accepted the request and asked the court that they were going to give details concerning the payment plan constituting the US$143,800 to the court for monitoring.
They even told the court that defendant had made efforts by paying 25% which is around US$47,000.
Interestingly, when Judge Mozart Chesson was contacted on Monday, February 3, on the issue, he referred this reporter to his Clerk.
When the Clerk was contacted he denied it, alleging that the court has never received a dime from Mr. Bility since 2013.
He, however, confirmed the agreement.
He said, in the agreement Bility would pay his balance tax obligations directly into government coffers and send a flag receipt to the Court.
“The prosecution and defense team told us that they arrived at an agreement on how the money would be paid; since then they have failed to report back regarding the status of the case,” the Court Clerk alleged.
“I don’t know whether they have made payment in that direction. Look in our court’s file there is no document to show that they have paid money into government coffers,” the Court officer pointed.
He continued, “Don’t let anyone lie to you alleging we received money from a state lawyer. They took the case from court; therefore, we can’t run after them. Go and ask the prosecution they are the best people to answer your concerns.”