$9.9-million tax scam suspected, 3 charged

Phony charity receipts sold to hundreds, court documents say
Three Greater Victoria people have been charged with tax dodging and selling more than $9.9 million in inflated charitable receipts to hundreds of people over five years.

Martin Danso-Dapaah and Carrie-Anne Danso-Dapaah of Langford are supposed to have evaded taxes by providing false charitable revenue to the Canada Revenue Agency.

 The receipts are suspected to have been used in the income-tax returns of 453 people from 2003 to 2007, reason them to claim almost $7.7 million in false charitable donations.

The fake charitable claims meant the 458 people failed to pay $2.2 million in taxes owing to the Canada Revenue Agency, court documents said.

Taxpayers supposedly paid one amount to a previously registered charity promoted as helping poor women and children in Africa; they were then issued receipts in a much larger amount to claim on their tax returns, boosting their tax deductions and refunds.

Michael Meszaros of Victoria is alleged to have avoided taxes by making false statements on the tax returns of 62 people, resulting in false charitable-donation claims of more than $1.5 million.

Those receipts allegedly led to the prevarication of $448,000 in taxes.

He was employed at the time by a Langford insurance company.

Meszaros is also charged of tax evasion from 2004 to 2007, claiming $52,300 in false charitable receipts and avoiding $15,000 in taxes.

Martin Danso-Dapaah is accused with tax evasion for the years 2005 to 2007 and avoiding payment of almost $153,000 in taxes.

The assumed offences include donation receipts issued by CanAfrica International Foundation and Canadian Foundation for Child Development, previously registered charities. Martin Danso-Dapaah's Langford home is named in court documents as the headquarters of CanAfrica International Foundation and he was listed as its vice-president when it was registered as a charitable organization on Oct. 21, 2002. Ambrose Danso Dapaah of Mississauga, Ont., was listed as president.

The tax returns that are the subject of some of the contentions were prepared in Winnipeg by Rodrigo Layco, operating as RDL Computer Business Data and Consulting Services, according to court papers.

One Winnipeg woman relied on Layco to do her taxes because he was a family friend, court documents claim.

On her 2006 tax return, she paid $800 in cash to CanAfrica International Foundation and was told she would obtain a receipt for $5,000.

She never really received the receipt. Her total reported income was $33,170. She received a tax refund of almost $3,500.

Court documents assert that a Winnipeg man was told by Layco that if he paid $800 to CanAfrica International Foundation he would collect a larger refund than he would usually be entitled to. He was given a receipt for $800 but later saw one for $5,000 had been included with his tax return.

His tax return showed a total income of $29,415, with $5,032 claimed as charitable donations. He received a tax refund of $2,400.

It's assumed that Layco collected donations from his Winnipeg clients and sent the cash to Martin Danso-Dapaah through a third person.

Meszaros is alleged to have requested donation receipts from CanAfrica International Foundation totalling almost $203,000 during 2007.


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