The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently released a decision in R. v. Tennina which demonstrates that Canadian courts are taking a much tougher approach when dealing with tax fraud schemes. The accused in this case was involved in evading over 17 million dollars in tax through a tax fraud scheme. She prepared tax returns for individuals and without their knowledge included false charitable donations and deductions, did not report the income she made from these schemes and did not show up for her trial by leaving the country.

Justice Gilmore stated:

“Ms. Tennina, by her actions, has compromised the good will and deeds done by so many charities. Who could blame an individual for hesitating to donate in the future after reading about this case? That damage cannot be calculated in dollars and cents.”

The court sentenced the accused to two 10-year sentences in jail to run concurrently as well as a large fine ($699,608) and stated that general and specific deterrence were the most important factors in a case such as this as well as various aggravating factors within the Criminal Code. The analysis and final result in this kind of a case illustrates that the courts will likely be taking a much stricter approach in the future when dealing with individuals involved in tax fraud schemes.

The full case can be accessed here: R._v_._Tennina_.pdf