Michaela Merz

Lavrin and the story of lifelong fraud

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Lavrin didn’t care much about rules. Where he thought he wouldn’t be caught, he simply ignored them.

He never paid social security contributions for his cleaner and when he became self-employed, he deducted all her wages as business related costs, although she chiefly cleaned his home and cooked for him. He always drove his car too fast, but never fast enough for him to lose his driving licence. He fixed the cruise control so that on the autobahn he never exceeded 139 km/h and in town he never drove above 65 km/h.

When he bought clothes in Milan, with scrupulous precision he cut off all the clothing labels. He claimed refund of the Italian VAT, but he never declared the import for customs and VAT in Switzerland (although his purchases had a value of well over the 300 francs).

What he simply overlooked or misunderstood, was the fact that VAT had to be paid on his self-employed work. When the authorities contacted him, it was simply too late. He had no possibility anymore to pass the VAT on to his customers. The invoice for 130,000 francs blew him off his feet. He had to pay it out of his assets. Not that he didn’t have any, but his desire to deliver to the state what belonged to the state was minimal. He wrote a whinging letter to the authorities with the suggestion that he would pay 30,000, otherwise he would have to file for bankruptcy. Incredible, but true: the authorities elected for the bird in the hand and agreed. They sent him an assessment proposal for 30,000, which he had to sign and return within 30 days. Otherwise the 130,000 would become legally binding and therefore payable.

But that was when his wife discovered that he was deceiving her with her sister. Angry and sour she emptied their joint account and bought herself crazy luxury clothes. In her first fit of rage she also threw all the papers, which lay on his desk, into the waste bin. That included the unopened letter from the VAT authorities.

So the 130,000 became legally binding and still had to be paid. Unfortunately, in instalments, because the authorities had refused to accept Louis Vuitton bags and similar in settlement of the debt.

Perhaps fraud occasionally pays off, but also occasionally not at all. And spending one’s whole life lying, is seldom successful.

 

Bildquelle: meyhome / pixelio.de

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