The trial into the multimillion-dollar tax evasion case against popular dancehall artiste Moses ‘Beenie Man’ Davis got under way yesterday in the Kingston Tax Court where two witnesses from the tax department testified.
The artiste, who was arrested on a warrant in October 2007, after failing to turn up for a hearing of the matter, is alleged to owe the state close to $48 million in taxes between the late 1990s and early 2000, at which time the entertainer was working with Shocking Vibes and Patrick Roberts, his former manager.
The tax authorities allege that Davis failed to pay over $29,290,116 in back taxes and $18,641,254 in penalties, both figures reaching a total of $47,931,371 during this period.
In the dark
When news of his debt broke, Davis said that he was unaware that his taxes were not being paid, as affairs of that nature were Robert’s responsibility at the time.
Roberts had said that the tax-evasion case brought against the artiste was an obvious attempt to smear the artiste’s career as he had paid over a sum to the department in February, after which came “a ridiculous assessment”.
He said since then, he has written to the Inland Revenue Department and the Ministry of Finance, after which, he said the ministry acknowledged receipt of his letter and said they needed time to apprise themselves of the case.
Resident Magistrate Owen Parkins said the case is to continue on May 29.