New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: After three days of searches at Bollywood actor Sonu Sood's house in Mumbai and several other premises of the actor in Lucknow and Jaipur, the income tax department on Saturday, in a statement, said that incriminating pieces of evidence pertaining to tax evasion have been found and the actor evaded taxes of over Rs 20 crore.

The Income Tax department also said that Sonu Sood's non-profit also raised Rs 2.1 crore from overseas donors using a crowdfunding platform in violation of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act. This comes days after Sonu Sood recently tied up with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party government.

"During the course of search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion have been found. The main modus operandi followed by the actor had been to route his unaccounted income in the form of bogus unsecured loans from many bogus entities," the Income Tax department said in a statement.

"Investigations so far have revealed use of 20 such entries, the providers of which, on examination, have accepted on oath to have given bogus accommodation entries. They have accepted to have issued cheques in lieu of cash".

"There have been instances where professional receipts have been camouflaged as loans in the books of accounts for the purpose of evasion of tax. It has also been revealed that these bogus loans have been used for making investments and acquiring properties. The total amount of tax evaded unearthed so far, amounts to more than Rs 20 crore," the tax department further added.

As per the allegations, Rs 18 crore donations have been made to Sonu Sood's non-profit Sood charity foundation, which was set up in July last year, till April this year. Out of the total amount collected, Rs 1.9 crore were spent on relief work while the remaining balance, Rs 17 crore, were lying unused in the foundation's bank account.

"The simultaneous search operations carried out at various premises of an infrastructure group in Lucknow in which the actor has entered into a joint venture real estate project and invested substantial funds, have resulted in the unearthing of incriminating evidence pertaining to tax evasion and irregularities in the books of account," the CBDT said.

According to media reports, Sonu Sood's company's recent deal with a Lucknow-based real estate firm is under the scanner of the tax department and the survey operation began after tax evasion allegations during this deal. It alleged the Lucknow group is involved in bogus billing of subcontracting expenses and diverting funds.

"Pieces of evidence of such bogus contracts found so far are to the tune of over Rs 65 crore... Further investigations are being carried out to establish the full extent of tax evasion. Cash of Rs 1.8 crore has been seized during the course of the search," the CBDT added.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan