Canada Revenue Agency - Toronto Tax Services Office

Canada Revenue Agency - Toronto Tax Services Office

January 10, 2007 11:35 ET

Former CRA Employee Sentenced for Fraud and Breach of Trust

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 10, 2007) - Diane Speranza, of North York, was found guilty on one count of fraud over $5,000, and one count of breach of trust by a public officer, in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto on January 9, 2007. She received a nine-month conditional sentence that includes three months house arrest, followed by two years probation. She was also ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.

Ms. Speranza, who was an employee of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at the time the offences took place (July 1998 to November 2005), accessed the tax accounts of acquaintances for the purpose of making fraudulent adjustments to their tax declarations. This resulted in the CRA issuing approximately $270,000 in refunds to which these taxpayers were not entitled. The CRA has recouped the majority of the refunds from these taxpayers.

The CRA takes its obligation to protect taxpayer information very seriously, and is committed to complying with the laws, regulations, policies, and procedures that govern the work done by its employees. The CRA has mechanisms in place to ensure that employees are held accountable for their work, and it has strict standards of conduct. Any breach of these rules may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment as well as criminal investigation and referral for prosecution by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The information in this news release was obtained from the court records.

Further information on convictions can be found in the Media room on the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca.

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