The Liberian government through the Ministry of Finance has laid hands on a presumably big money rogue, who allegedly used pseudo means to defraud the government of thousands of dollars that could be directed to worthy projects.
Daniel B. Grigsby, deputy collector in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, according to Finance Minister Amara Konneh succeeded in defrauding of over government US$325,000, through the scheme that lasted for about five months beginning from May to September this year, depositing monies into government revenue far less than what he should have.
Grigsby, who is dismissed with immediate effect and turned over to the Justice Ministry for prosecution, reportedly wrote a largest taxpayer(not named) informing them that the government had decided to decentralize revenue collection, and in the same vein ordered the company to remit 6% withholding taxes to the account of Integrated Management Consultants, his own setup.
The company, without investigation and conducting due diligence to establish the veracity of the Grigsby's machination, complied with him and deposited huge sum of revenue into the private account opened at Ecobank Liberia with account #0021034719926101.
But as he was cooking the scheme, apparently God was looking down and little he knew he would be caught pant down and his deal exposed, not knowing that the very taxpayer has an account at the same bank, where it has been carrying out monthly wire transactions to transfer thousands of dollars to the accounts of the integrated management consultants.
Grigsby established the account on May 17, 2012, and on May 18, 2012, a day after, he managed to deposit US$34,107.32 which he allegedly withdrew the same day, the ministry said, followed by a continuous deposit into said account by the taxpayer up to September 10, 2012.
Finance Minister Amara Konneh said it was unacceptable for an individual to defraud government of such huge revenue totaling US$325,000.
"Instead of being depositing into the government's account, these withheld monies were paid to Mr. Grigsby's company. Mr. Grigsby would receive US$ dollars from the taxpayer, and then proceed to the ministry of finance and deposit Liberian dollars (LD) instead of US dollars. For example, on August 9, 2012, the taxpayer deposited US$87.528.58 to Mr. Grigsby account. Our tax administration shows that Mr. Grigsby deposited the sum of LD$87,528.559 into government's consolidated account, instead of US$87,528.58," the minister said.
The Finance Ministry has rebuffed the decision of the company to accept or abide by something it knows does not exist throughout the world.
"There is nowhere in the world where private accounts are used to as legitimate means of paying government taxes. This should have been a red flag for the tax payer, but they ignored this and proceeded with this scheme," the statement said, and reminded the taxpayer that it is still obligated to the government.
At the same time, the ministry has announced the suspension of three of its employees, namely YeallahNdorboh, former tax collector at the Buchanan Colletorate, Samuel Seidu, senior tax collector at the same Collectorate and Alvin Johnson, former revenue agent in Kakata for their alleged accomplices in the Grigsby scheme.