Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

November 24, 2014 16:49 ET

Inmate Sentenced for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 24, 2014) - The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced today that on November 20, 2014, Mark Johnston, of Toronto, Ontario, pleaded guilty in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto, to two counts of fraud over $5,000 under the Criminal Code of Canada. Johnston was sentenced to a jail term of three years and 10 months. His sentence is to be served consecutive to any sentence Johnston is currently serving.

A CRA investigation revealed that Johnston, while incarcerated between January 2007 and May 2009, either himself or through third parties, filed 1,400 fraudulent personal income tax returns in the name of 171 inmates and other individuals for refunds without their consent or knowledge. Johnston used dates of births and social insurance numbers he obtained from his unsuspecting fellow inmates and others. Using the same methodology, Johnston incorporated companies and filed 725 GST/HST returns for refunds. By doing so Johnston attempted to defraud the Government of Canada by claiming $2 million in unwarranted refunds.

The preceding information was obtained from the court records.

"The Canada Revenue Agency pursues those who commit fraud to maintain public confidence in the integrity of the tax system," said Vince Pranjivan, Assistant Commissioner of the Ontario Region. "Canadians have to trust that our self-assessment system is working and that it is fair."

If you have ever made a tax mistake or omission, the CRA is offering you a second chance to make things right through its Voluntary Disclosures Program (VDP). If you make a valid disclosure before you become aware that the CRA is taking action against you, you may only have to pay the taxes owing plus interest. More information on the 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

  • Sam Papadopoulos
    Manager, Communications
    416-952-8096