Sandals Denies Pocketing Money It Took As Taxes


Sandals today denied allegations in a lawsuit that it has been fraudulently holding on to taxes paid by guests.

The resort has been hit with a class action lawsuit in Florida on Tuesday over an alleged tax fraud scheme run at its Caribbean resorts.

The company is accused of charging guests 12% tax rates but instead of handing over the money, the funds are ‘secretly retained by Sandals for its own profit’

Plantiff Vitali Feldman stayed at a Sandals Resorts in 2017, 2018 and 2019, along with his wife and two children and claims he fell victim to the alleged scheme

His lawyers claim customers were ‘deceived into paying such tax that was, in fact, being secretly retained by Defendants for their own use, benefit and profit’

Lawyers claim Sandals Resorts settled with the government of Antigua and Barbuda over unpaid sales tax totaling $37.5M, and paid only 37 cents

The class action lawsuit is seeking at least $5 million

Sandals Resorts denied the allegations saying:

“Our customers are our top priority and under no circumstances would we exploit their faith in us.

Our valued guests have never been unlawfully charged for taxes and allegations to the contrary are downright false.

Not only do we conduct our business with pricing transparency, we meet all of our tax obligations in each of the islands where we call home.

We take great pride in being the gold standard in the islands where we operate and have spent close to four
decades providing guests with the most comprehensive vacation experience bar

So We will of course vigorously defend against these baseless allegations.”

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  1. Butch the bully strikes again? Not a good look for Lovell the weakling who allowed Sandals to hold on to some of our ABST.

    • I thought that this agreement had started under Lester Bird era which Lovell continued under the UPP era.

      • Government to move a resolution over Sandals ABST payment waiver [Nov-10-2017]

        “…the company accepted to “settle the said issue and their differences whereby Sandals will pay ABST at the full statutory rate as from January 1, 2017, thus waiving any rights to a discounted rate of ABST” granted under the previous United Progressive Party (UPP) administration in 2009.”

  2. “Not only do we conduct our business with pricing transparency, we meet all of our tax obligations in each of the islands where we call home.”…….Is this a joke? REALLY? APUA still waiting on payment of $20M IN ARREARS

  3. I do not want to discuss the merit of this lawsuit because I do not know enough about it. What I know is that the region has benefited tremendously from the Sandals brand and if we had to allocate the kind of monies that Sandals have put into marketing the Caribbean, all our countries would be broke. The Sandals Brand is by far the leading Brand in the Caribbean and in recent times it has come in for a lot of criticisms from regional governments. I dear say, that this is not doing anything good for Sandals nor the countries in question. It would seem to me that this lawsuit stems from ongoing and much publicized feud between the Antiguan Government and the Sandals Executives. I am urging my government to throw its weight behind Sandals as a lot is at stake for Antigua in all of this. We cannot back any single individual seeking to undermine the reputation of the hotel when hundreds of Antiguan jobs are at risk here. The public feud that started this must be put to rest and we must embrace the Sandals group as they are by far the finest and most recognize brand in Antigua.

    • Every company must pay their fair share of taxes according to law, not because you employed hundreds of people that gives you the right to threatened the government with shut down and refuse to pay. What sandals did under the previous UPP administration was wicked.Doing one hundred good deeds does give you the right to commit one bad deed with impunity …does not make you above the tax law. SANDALS MUST PAY THEM TAXES

    • So what you are saying is that the Lovely State of Antigua and Barbuda which the “Sandals Brand” operates in should disregard the fact it is owed millions in taxes from the said brand, in efforts to put on a happy face? Sandals is NOT the ivory Tower on the hill, there are other branded resorts that are doing a pretty good job at surpassing Sandals successful run in the Caribbean. We all know a country cannot run efficiently without taxes and if Sandals is withholding such large sums of monies owed, I see nothing wrong with applying the pressure of the media. You mention hundreds of jobs at risk, yet fail to balance the faith of the entire state dependant on those taxes, with the hundreds of jobs. There are many resorts opening within the state.

    • @Audley, Has there been any real study of the economic impact that Sandals has on the economies of the countries it operates in? I sure if this was done seriously that the findings would reveal Sandals to be a leech in every country it operates outside of Jamaica. I can say for sure in Antigua they don’t contribute anything more than a basic paycheck at the end of the week. Think about it, Sandals is an overseas based company that makes 98% of its bookings overseas, 90% of its goods come from overseas (they pay no duties mind you) All the top managers are from overseas. There may be 5 Antiguan managers if that many and they are still paid half of what their expat colleagues are paid. At least 50% of the line staff are not from Antigua and go straight to Money Gram after they get paid on Thursdays to send home money. Plus the staff are fired if a guest gives them a tip (gratuity). On top of that they don’t pay the small amount of local businesses they patronize on time (except WIOC who won’t give them cooking gas unless their check is ready or Gomes when he delivers his lobsters (cause he don’t play)). And then they don’t want to pay taxes? If that’s the only kind of business we can get in this country why did our fathers even bother drink pond water and eat Widdy-Widdy bush?

    • Time to remove the “sandaled bucaneer” from the Rock before further entanglements! Qui Bono?

      Nicholas stated “We came to a settlement agreement with Sandals while we had the opportunity to claw back over $100 million that we felt was unlawfully contributed to Sandals, we wrote it off as one of the grave errors of the UPP administration. “We wrote a clean sheet of paper and moved on. We are now in the position where we are collecting our taxes as prescribed by law,” he said.

      Qui Bono? $100 Million

      Qui Bono? “Sandals agreed to pay $1 East Caribbean Dollar, which is around 37 cents, the government accepted.”

      Just a note to remind. The English Speaking SIDS are not the Caribbean!

  4. For years dating back to the 80s the unions have been trying to get hotels to open their books so that employees could fairly benefit from the service charge that is paid up front by the guests.

    Weak union leaders have failed to bring this issue before the court.

    Now is not to late to being the case dating back to the 80s.

    Hotels use the service charge at their will and give the employees what remains.

    This is a huge scam that has been going on in the hotel industry. The weak ass unions need to start to look out for their members and stop looking for sponsorship when they are at the negotiating table

  5. @ hmmmmmm only one union is responsible for unionizing hotels.

    The other is responsible for public service.

    This is how both unions share the spoils they are territorial.

    Compulsory union dues is unconstitutional.

    It is time for that to come to an end.

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