A Surrey lawyer has been sentenced to a 22-month conditional sentence, including eight months of house arrest, for tax evasion, says the Canadian Revenue Agency.
The CRA said in a news release Friday (Jan. 11) that Baldev Singh Ghag was sentenced on Jan. 10. He was also fined $418,865.66 “after pleading guilty to one count of tax evasion under the Income Tax Act.”
A CRA investigation, according to the release, “determined” that Ghag, a practicing lawyer in B.C., “failed to report $1,284,254.81 of taxable income for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 tax years.”
The release says that Ghag was a principal for two corporations, adding that “he provided real estate legal services through Baldev S. Ghag Law Corporation and used Ferengi Trading Corporation to lend money for real estate transactions.”
Ghag, the CRA said, “maintained and controlled” the books and records for both corporate entities, “but intermingled the banking between his corporate and person accounts.”
“The intentional intermingling of deposits and withdrawals across accounts resulted in significant funds ending up in personal accounts he held or controlled that he failed to report as taxable income,” the CRA said.
Tax evasion, the CRA says, is a crime, and “those who do not fully comply with tax laws place and unfair burden on law-abiding taxpayers and businesses and jeopardizes the integrity of Canada’s tax base.”
The CRA said that from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018, the courts “convicted 307 taxpayers for tax evasion of $134 million in federal tax,” adding that these convictions resulted in sentences “totalling approximately $37 million in court fines and 2,494 months (246 years) in jail.”
Under the income tax and excise tax laws, according to the CRA, being evicted of tax evasion includes fines that can range from 50 per cent to 200 per cent of the evaded taxes and up to five years in jail.
“Being convicted of fraud under the Criminal Code carries a sentence of up to 14 years in jail,” the release reads.