Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

December 20, 2010 16:05 ET

Guilty Plea For Tax Evasion Earns Niagara Winery $202,510 Fine

ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 20, 2010) - On December 17, 2010, Pillitteri Estates Winery Inc., a family-owned and operated winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, pled guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines to one count of tax evasion. The corporation was fined $202,510, which represents 100% of the federal taxes evaded. Immediately following the plea, the court fine was paid in full by the corporation. The court fines are in addition to any taxes and interest owed, as well as any civil penalties that may be assessed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

During the course of an audit by the CRA, the auditor discovered discrepancies when he compared sales figures reported to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), with those reported on the corporation's financial statements and corporate income tax returns.

A subsequent CRA investigation confirmed that some cash sales were misappropriated and not deposited to the corporate bank accounts. As a result, the corporate income reported for tax purposes was understated by $915,508 in tax year 2005. 

"The Canada Revenue Agency pursues tax evaders to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the tax system," said Karen Ellis, Assistant Commissioner of the Ontario Region at the Canada Revenue Agency. "Canadians have to trust that our self-assessment system is working and that it is fair."

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 will 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.

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

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

Contact Information

  • For media information: Canada Revenue Agency
    Andy Meredith
    Communications Manager
    416-952-8106