A resident of Laval, Que., has pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) said in a release on Wednesday.
Robert Kalfayan was fined $495,614 in relation to the offences, on top of having to pay the income tax and all penalties and interests that apply, the CRA said.
For the tax years 2009 to 2013, Kalfayan tried to evade payment of more than $700,000 in federal income tax using a complex scheme to shield his “luxurious” Laval residence from CRA collection measures, the release said.
The scheme included a fake loan, a nominee and several international bank transfers, and the use of one of his companies, Lowcrest Marketing, incorporated in Belize.
The CRA’s investigation further found that, for the 2014 and 2015 tax years, Kalfayan contravened the Income Tax Act by making a fraudulent proposal to creditors in which he failed to declare all his international assets — real estate, cryptocurrency and cash — as a way to evade the payment of income tax.
Kalfayan was arrested on Dec. 23, 2019, upon his return to Canada.
“The courts recognize the gravity of offshore cases by sentencing offenders to lengthier jail terms and imposing higher court fines,” the agency said in its release.
From April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2020, the courts convicted 263 taxpayers for tax evasion of $118,724,181 in federal tax, it said.
The convictions resulted in sentences totalling more than $32 million in court fines and 230 years in jail.
Earlier this year, the CRA published updated guidance on tax information–sharing agreements that aim to thwart offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax avoidance.