The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has sentenced up to seven years in jail former popular singer and Metro Manila bus operator Claire dela Fuente for tax evasion.
Dela Fuente, operator of the Philippine Corinthian Liner Corp., was ordered by the court to pay a fine of P150,000.
The criminal case, filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) 10 years ago, arose from the non-filing of income tax returns for the years 1998 to 2004.
She meted one year imprisonment for each of the seven counts of tax violation.
Dela Fuente denied the charges, saying her company started operations only in 2005.
But the court dismissed her claim when the BIR presented PCLC’s records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board, and the Land Transportation Office.
The court also ignored the PCLC’s 2005 BIR registration presented during the trial which was described by revenue lawyers as spurious.
Dela Fuente — Clarita Crisostomo dela Fuente-de Guzman in real life — gained celebrity status in 1970 with jukebox hit “Sayang.” She was called “Asia’s Sweetest Voice” for her sweet voice.