29 Jan 2021
First Majestic Silver Corp. won a reprieve on criminal tax fraud charges in initial Mexican court hearings for a case that will test the strength of the country’s crackdown on tax evasion, according to people familiar with the matter.
A judge in Mexico City declined to charge the Canadian mining company with criminal tax fraud, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity as the matter is private. Prosecutors can still return to court and present additional evidence. One of the people said the judge delayed ruling until an audit by Mexico’s tax authority was finished and that the judge hadn’t ruled yet on the evidence presented in the case.
First Majestic, a Vancouver-based company that operates three producing silver mines and other projects in Mexico, declined to comment. Representatives from Mexico’s government did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
First Majestic is facing down authorities in court after other major companies including Wal-Mart de Mexico caved in front of potential criminal tax charges last year and made more than $1 billion in tax settlements. Mexican tax prosecutors have discretion to settle criminal charges even after they have handed complaints over to the Attorney General’s Office.
By Michael O’Boyle, Bloomberg, 27 January 2021
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