CRA Conviction: Victoria Man Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Counselling Others to Commit Fraud

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has reported that a Victoria, BC man, Richard Stanchfield, has been handed a 14-month conditional jail sentence (including 9-months of house arrest) for income tax evasion and for counselling others to commit fraud.

Stanchfield has been ordered to pay $31,000 in outstanding tax on his own income over a 5-year period.

The CRA has stated that Stanchfield promoted himself as “educator” at a firm called the Paradigm Education Group, which claimed to advise clients of methods of restructuring personal finances to avoid having to pay tax.

In line with their view on tax schemes and scams, the CRA warns consumers to beware individuals who “try to convince you that you do not have to pay tax on earned income”.

If it seems too good to be true, it is!

Philippe DioGuardi Guilty of Professional Misconduct

On November 21st, 2015, the Law Society of Upper Canada found Philippe DioGuardi, of DioGuardi Tax Law guilty of professional misconduct.  As a result, Dioguardi has been given a six-week suspension, a $5,000 fine and an order to pay $75,000 in legal costs.

The law society’s application to the tribunal included allegations that DioGuardi took money from six clients before performing “any or very little legal service,” and in some cases “failed to perform legal services to the standard of a competent lawyer.”

DioGuardi also failed to file income tax returns for a client in a timely manner, the law society alleged in its application.

As part of the agreed-upon penalty, DioGuardi must submit to a review of his practice by the law society.
In its submissions, the law society charged that DioGuardi “failed to act with integrity” by having eight clients sign retainer agreements that benefited his law firm, DioGuardi Tax Law, to the “potential detriment” of those clients when he would deposit client retainer money into the firm’s general account, as opposed to a trust account, which gave DioGuardi ownership over client money prior to any work actually being done.

A law society bylaw states that client funds must be deposited in a trust account and can only be drawn once work is completed.

Earlier this year, DioGuardi was investigated by the Toronto Star relating to his personal and business practice stemming from a messy divorce and to address allegations that he overdrew his firm’s account by $2 million, and at one point owed the CRA more than $140,000 in arrears.