Francesco Bruno and B.T. Céramiques Inc. guilty of tax evasion

MONTREAL, Feb. 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Francesco Bruno, a Montréal construction contractor, as well as B.T. Céramiques Inc., pleaded guilty today to tax evasion charges before the Court of Quebec. They were fined $1,147,030 and $139,009 respectively. In addition to these fines, Mr. Bruno and B.T. Céramiques Inc. will have to pay the full amount of taxes they owe plus related interest and any administrative penalties that apply.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) investigation revealed that, between the 2004 and 2008 tax years, Mr. Bruno voluntarily contravened the Income Tax Act by helping Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc., Constructions Louisbourg ltd. and B.T. Céramiques Inc. claim false expenses in order to avoid paying $859,555 in income tax. In this false invoicing scheme, Mr. Bruno used two inactive, or "shell" companies with no commercial activity, 3703436 Canada Inc.and Entretien Torrelli Inc.

The investigation also revealed that, for the 2005 and 2007 tax years, Mr. Bruno made false or deceptive statements on his personal income tax returns by failing to declare $1,202,827 in income, thereby trying to evade paying $287,475 in income tax.

Finally, the investigation revealed that, for the 2004 and 2005 tax years, B.T. Céramiques Inc. made false or deceptive statements by claiming a total of $284,720 in false expenses, thus trying to evade paying $139,009 in income tax.

The above information was obtained from the court records.

False invoicing is a scheme through which individuals or companies obtain invoices from generally inactive companies for fictitious work. The invoices are then used to fraudulently reduce the companies' or individuals' revenues. The resulting tax savings are shared by the scheme's participants to use as off-the-books salaries or for personal gain.

The vast majority of Canadians pay their taxes in full and on time. In fairness to them, the CRA has put effective and rigorous programs in place to identify those people who try to avoid paying the taxes they owe.

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 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 Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/voluntarydisclosures.

Additional information on convictions can be found on the Media page of the CRA Web site at www.cra.gc.ca/convictions.


SOURCE CANADA REVENUE AGENCY

For further information:

media:
Noël Carisse
Spokesperson, Canada Revenue Agency
Telephone: 613-952-9184


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