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Sandals, the world renowned Jamaican hotel chain, has been seemingly caught in a scam. Allegations have been brought against the hotel chain accusing the group of illegally pocketing money. Money has been collected from guests of the hotel citing the reason as local government taxes. It has been said that these taxes were being illegally collected and the hotel group was pocketing these collections. Vitali Feldman has filed a lawsuit. The lawsuit demands a legal compensation of US$5 million and was filed in the Florida Federal Court. It has been alleged that the hotel chain was unlawfully retaining these taxes for their personal benefit and profit.
The Case Against Sandals
Sandals has retorted that these allegations are baseless and the hotel is not unlawfully retaining any money. All the government taxes collected by the hotel are legally collected. The hotel has also mentioned that they have been paying the taxes on time to the government. The hotel giant has been quoted saying that they value the customers above everything else and that their pricing policy is very transparent and no illegal amounts have been collected so far.
They have termed their packages as being all-inclusive and the mention that the price is inclusive of all taxes, yet collect separate taxes from the customers. The hotel has been said to have attempted to collect extra money for the rooms under the guise of government taxes. The lawsuit says that this is highly deceptive in nature and the customers are being cheated. The hotel has been charging a 12% tax over the final bill amount. This amounts to a huge sum in the long run.
The Allegations Filed
The lawsuit has been focused on the particular resort, Sandals’ Beaches Turks & Caicos. This resort is being run in a partnership between Sandals and Turks & Caicos. According to the agreement, the accommodation tax should not be collected for guests who are less than 12 years old. The resort has allegedly collected tax even for these guests. This is illegal according to the laws of the country and the hotel, if found guilty, will have to face the consequences. By extension, the lawsuit is being filed against multiple resorts; Sandals Grande Antigua, Sandals Barbados, and Sandals Royal Barbados. These illegal collections are being alleged to have been taking place even prior to 2017.