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A tax preparer from Ontario has been sentenced to four years of prison time for filing fraudulent tax returns.

George Nkoke Nnane of Richmond Hill, Ont., was sentenced in the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto last week to three years in jail for one count of fraud, and to 12 months in jail on a second count, said a release from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Nnane was found guilty of the fraud charges by a jury on Oct, 29, 2019, the CRA said.

A CRA investigation found that Nnane, the chief executive officer of Golden Capital Management Inc., a tax preparation business, prepared individual tax returns for the firm’s clients with false charitable donations credits, as well as fictitious business and rental losses.

The false claims enabled the firm’s clients to evade nearly $2 million in federal tax for the years 2009 to 2013, the release said.

The investigation also revealed that Golden Capital Management failed to report net income totalling about $500,000 on its corporate income tax returns for the same taxation years. Further, the firm failed to remit goods-and-services tax/harmonized sales tax totalling about $53,000 for the quarterly filing periods from 2009 to 2013.

In its release, the CRA noted that taxpayers convicted of tax evasion face fines ranging from 50% to 200% of the evaded taxes and up to five years’ imprisonment. If a taxpayer is convicted of fraud under Section 380 of the Criminal Code, an individual can face up to 14 years in jail, the release said.

For the five-year period from April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2019, the courts have convicted 25 tax preparers/promoters for tax evasion, resulting in a total of $2.5 million in fines and 38 years of jail time, the CRA said.