Our August 2009 newsletter discussed a case in which an individual pled guilty to fraud and two counts of tax evasion. The individual prepared income tax returns and provided false charitable donation receipts to his clients totalling almost $11.7 million. He also evaded personal income tax of $42,457 in 2004 and $103,309 in 2005. The lower court sentenced him to one day in jail and a fine of $145,760. The Crown sought leave to appeal this sentence.
Last month, the Ontario Court of Appeal increased the individual’s sentence to a further two years in jail and the Court substituted separate fines for the prior global fine. The Court held that it was an aggravating factor in the case that the value of the fraud committed exceeded $1 million dollars.
The individual argued that he was not the mastermind behind the scheme. The Court did not accept the individual’s argument and noted that the lower Court had found the individual was the instigator and primary participant in the scheme. The Federal Court of Appeal held that if there are other people who participated in the fraudulent activity the individual could provide that information to the authorities so that they could take action against them. The Court added that the guilt of others does not diminish the individual’s own culpability.