A former tax officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting 4 million yen in bribes to help an acquaintance carry out a tax-dodging scheme.Akio Tobinai, 52, formerly with the Kamakura Tax Office in Kanagawa Prefecture, pleaded guilty in his first hearing before the Tokyo District Court. According to prosecutors, Tobinai was asked by Tamahiro Matsuo, 69, a former tax accountant and tax officer, to help three clients evade taxes between September 1991 and February 1992.He received a total of 4 million yen in bribes at the tax office and at golf courses, prosecutors said. In March 1992, Tobinai removed taxation documents on the three clients from the tax office and later threw them away, the prosecution said. With Tobinai’s assistance, Matsuo was able to help his three clients evade about 100 million yen in taxes, the prosecution said.Tobinai and two other tax officers have been arrested and indicted in connection with a series of tax evasion cases. In addition, Matsuo and 18 others, including those who asked for help to dodge taxes, have been arrested and charged. Matsuo has been charged with passing bribes to Tobinai. The two became acquainted in 1988, according to prosecutors. In 1989, when Tobinai discovered that Matsuo had failed to report income in his tax returns, he was asked, and agreed, to help in the coverup. With Tobinai’s help, Matsuo decided to increase the scale of his tax-dodge scam, prosecutors said.Matsuo gave Tobinai 1 million yen in both January and April 1990, and later invited him to play golf on many occasions and to cooperate in dodging taxes, prosecutors said. Prosecutors did not charge Tobinai for the receipt of the 2 million yen.
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