Bratislava, February 5 (TASR) – Igor Matovic (OLaNO-NOVA) is a tax swindler who employs strawpersons in order to conceal his illegal activities, Prime Minister Robert Fico said at a press briefing on Monday.
Fico pointed out that Matovic has faced numerous suspicions and tax fines over his business activities, for instance, with respect to smuggling in a printer.
“Also when he faced a series of tax inspections, he fictitiously transferred ownership of his firm Igor Matovic-regionPRESS to a strawperson in order to eschew responsibility and thus erased the whole history of the firm’s accounting as well as laundered 122 million Slovak crowns (€4 million),” said Fico, who claimed to possess evidence to back up the claim.
According to the Prime Minister, Matovic, who became an MP in 2010, was to be audited by tax authorities on August 15, 2008. A day before the inspection, however, Matovic allegedly sold Igor Matovic-regionPRESS to strawperson Pavel Vandak fictitiously for Sk122 million. “Mr. Vandak worked for Igor Matovic as the ‘zivnostnik’ (self-employed), although for all practical purposes was his employee [a loophole used by the firm to pay lower deductions – ed.note] and never had such an amount of money,” said Fico.
The purchase sum of Sk122 million was transferred from the firm account of Igor Matovic-regionPRESS to Matovic’s private account on August 14 – the day the contract of sale was inked, said Fico. “Simultaneously, as part of the fictitious transfer, strawperson Mr. Vandak received the whole history of accounting in 1997-2008, the period encompassing the firm’s entire existence,” he underlined. In order to complete the fictitious transaction, Matovic allegedly announced to the Tax Office on October 10, 2008, that he chose to withdraw the contract with Vandak. “The upshot was that Sk122 million was transferred to his private account and the entire history of bookkeeping at Igor Matovic-regionPRESS was erased, so that tax authorities had no chance to audit his business and impose fines,” said Fico, emphasising that the case represents a textbook example of a fraud.
As evidence, the Prime Minister submitted to journalists photocopies of the contract of sale, official documents and the minutes of hearings at Trnava Tax Office. “We’re submitting the contract of sale that corroborates the sum of Sk122 million and the fact that the money was to be transferred to the private account,” said Fico, adding that the buyer was explicitly notified in the contract about the ongoing tax inspection and the takeover of the firm’s entire accounting records from 1997-2008. “We’re also submitting the testimony of Vandak at the Tax Office, where Vandak states that the accounting records of the company ended up at a waste paper collection point, along with the official document confirming that Matovic later withdrew from the contract, which served to close the circle,” said Fico.