On Wednesday, Sood’s offices in Mumbai and Lucknow were raided by officials of the Income Tax department. The income tax officers arrived at the actor’s premises on Wednesday afternoon and also carried out a “survey” in Sood’s Mumbai residence on Thursday.
According to the authorities, his organisation Sood Charity Foundation also raised Rs 2.1 crore from overseas donors using a crowdfunding platform that violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act that governs these kinds of transactions.
“During the course of search at the premises of the actor and his associates, incriminating evidences 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 tax department said in the statement.
They added that investigations until now have revealed the 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,” they said.
Set up during the beginning of the pandemic in July 2020, the foundation has collected donations of over Rs 18 crore till April 2021. Out of this, Rs 1.9 crore has been spent on relief work. The balance has been lying unused in its bank account, according to the authorities.
The simultaneous search operations carried out at various premises of an Infrastructure group in Lucknow in which the said actor had entered into a joint venture real estate project and invested substantial funds, have resulted in unearthing of incriminating
evidences pertaining to tax evasion and irregularities in the books of account,” the department said in the statement.
The authorities said that the Lucknow group which Sood entered a deal with was involved in diverting funds and “bogus” billing of subcontracting expenses. They added, “Evidences 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”.