Singer Claire dela Fuente, dubbed by some as the Philippines’ version of Karen Carpenter, was convicted for seven counts of tax evasion, the media reported yesterday.
In a decision dated June 30, the court said that dela Fuente failed to file the income tax returns of her bus firm, Philippine Corinthian Liner Corporation (PCLC), from 1998 to 2004. Dela Fuente, PCLC’s vice president and treasurer, was sentenced to imprisonment of one year for each of the seven cases and was ordered by the Court of Tax Appeals to pay a fine of PHP50,000 (US$1,000). She will be imprisoned longer if she chooses not to pay the fine.
Dela Fuente, whose real name is Clarita de Guzman, was charged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue for tax evasion in 2009. She has denied all of the charges and said her company only started its operations in 2005.
Meanwhile, PCLC was also found guilty of violating the country’s tax code and was ordered to pay a fine of PHP100,000 (US$2,018).
Known for her sweet voice, dela Fuente first became famous in the 1970s for her jukebox songs. She recorded a total of eight albums in her career and occasionally appears in public to perform. In 2011, the government permanently cancelled her bus company’s license to operate after it participated in a 2010 transport strike that left hundreds of commuters stranded in Metro Manila.
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