Local man sentenced to 18 months, big fine

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Golden scales of justice, gavel and books on brown background

Anthony McPhail faces 18 months behind bars and a fine of nearly a third of a million dollars after sentencing was handed down today in Chatham court.

McPhail pleaded guilty in February to two counts of evading income tax and four counts of making or participating in the making of false statements in the income tax returns of individuals to obtain or claim unwarranted tax refunds.

The fine of $323,402 represents the amount federal tax evaded, officials say.

A CRA investigation revealed that McPhail, a tax preparer and proprietor of Valet Vending Services, created a system where he advised his clients they could make money by buying and reselling chocolates to benefit charities. The investigation indicated that that no charities benefited from these sales.

McPhail then prepared income tax returns for the 49 participating individuals, claiming fictitious business losses, according to the CRA. In total, McPhail prepared 118 tax returns, claiming $3,840,788 in fictitious losses from 2006 to 2009.

“Our taxes pay for the high level of government services that Canadians count on,” Vince Pranjivan, Assistant Commissioner of the Ontario Region, said in a media release. “When someone tries to evade taxes, it affects all Canadians.”

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