Switzerland´s Federal Tribunal in Lausanne has ruled that an Indian Swiss tycoon could owe the Geneva region more than FRF125m ($137m) in back taxes amid allegations that he tried to pass himself off as a resident of Monaco and falsified the value of his fortune, the Associated Press has reported.
According to reports in the Swiss Media on Wednesday (1 September), the Federal Tribunal in Lausanne on 17 August upheld a decision to freeze assets belonging to Prakash Hinduja in connection with a much larger tax debt to local authorities than he had originally claimed between 2008 and 2017.
French-language daily 24 Heures said the alleged wrongdoing came to light after an investigation by Geneva prosecutors opened three years ago over alleged human trafficking and usury involving workers at the Geneva villa where Hinduja and his family have lived.
A prosecutor then told tax authorities that Hinduja still resided in Geneva, despite claims of residency in Monaco since 2007.
He also allegedly benefitted from undisclosed payouts from a trust on the Isle of Man, which misrepresented the size of his fortune and thus - like the claim of Monaco residency - had lowered his tax liability in Switzerland.
In May 2019, Swiss tax authorities led a raid of the villa in Geneva and seized safes, computer equipment and documents. An asset freeze was implemented. Ultimately, the federal court revised downward the amount of funds that were allowed to be held as collateral, from more than FRF150m originally.
The case remains pending as a criminal investigation brought by prosecutors plays out, 24 Heures reported.