Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

March 13, 2012 12:02 ET

Former Chartered Accountant Sentenced to Over 3 Years in Jail and Fined $500,000 for GST Fraud

NEWMARKET, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 13, 2012) - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that on March 12, 2012, Thomas Silverman of Vaughan was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and fined $500,000 after being found guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket for one count of fraud over $5,000. Silverman, a former chartered accountant, committed GST tax fraud by registering three businesses and filing false tax returns on behalf of the companies, claiming a total of $4.5 million in fraudulent GST refunds.

"Tax fraud and evasion represent the most flagrant instances of non-compliance with tax laws," said Vince Pranjivan, Assistant Commissioner, Ontario Region, CRA. "The CRA takes abuse of Canada's tax laws very seriously, and is determined to hold those individuals or businesses who defraud Canadians accountable for their actions," he added.

A CRA investigation revealed that Silverman registered three businesses for the purposes of claiming fraudulent Input Tax Credits and obtaining GST refunds. None of the businesses set up by Silverman were engaged in legitimate commercial or business activities. Silverman used the personal information of former clients to set up nominee directors for each company, as well as a commercial mailbox to suggest the legitimacy of the businesses. Silverman maintained exclusive control of all of the companies' bank accounts.

Silverman admitted that he filed 116 GST returns between August 2000 and November 2003, claiming $4,538,024 in refunds to which he was not entitled. In total, Silverman received $3,800,000 in fraudulent refunds paid out to Silverman's companies and transferred to a personal bank account. The CRA determined that all of the claims were unwarranted and false.

The preceding information was obtained from the court records.

Individuals who have not filed returns for previous years, or who have not reported all of their income, can still voluntarily correct their tax affairs. They may not be penalized or prosecuted if they make a valid disclosure before they become aware of any compliance action being initiated by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) against them. These individuals may only have to pay the taxes owing, plus interest. More information on the Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP) can be found on the CRA's website at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.

Further information on convictions can be found in the Media Room on the CRA website at www.cra.gc.ca/convictions.

Contact Information

  • Peter Delis
    Manager, Communications
    416-952-8044